Friday, 7 December 2012

The Ununs.

What are the Ununs? They are a group of elements on the Periodic Table near the end which have not existed or been around long enough to have a verified name. Until they have a proper name or have been verified they remain as elements with the Unun- prefix. They are, with their Atomic Number:

  • Unununium- 111
  • Ununbium- 112
  • Ununtrium- 113
  • Ununquadium- 114
  • Ununpentium- 115
  • Ununhexium- 116
  • Ununseptium- 117
  • Ununoctium- 118
They appear to have the Unun- Prefix then a suffix of a Latin phrase relating to the number above 110. The reason they have not been certified and have not been specified with a permanent name are that with this high an atomic Number they have a very short half life. More could be created with protons above 118 could be made however it would be hard to detect them with that short a half life. Sadly, even the ones that exist are a dying breed. I have included Unununium and Ununbium and Ununquadium along with Ununhexium however these are no longer accepted as elements by IUPAC. They have now been replaced with Roentgenium, Copernicum, Flevorium, and Livermorium. How long is it until those elements have been confirmed and labeled with some other famous historical scientists name?

However, Copernicum is an interesting name in itself. There was controversy as when the discoverers of the element proposed the name Copernicum and the symbol Cp they delayed the decision by six months. This was due to the fact that Cp was related to other things in chemistry. The first was that it was related to cassiopeium, now known as Lutetium (Lu). It is also related to organometallic chemistry to denote a cyclopentadienyl ligand. In the end the symbol Cp  was retracted and instead Cn was used as the symbol. On the 19th of November 2010, the 537th anniversary of Copernicus's birth, IUPAC officially accepted the proposed name and symbol of Copernicum and Cn.

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