IUPAC formally issues the final word on 112…

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So, after literally some speculation and tongue-in-cheek outrage, IUPAC has officially definitely finally approved “the name copernicium, with symbol Cn, for the element of atomic number 112”.

Quoting again from the IUPAC press-release "The Recommendations will be published in the March issue of the IUPAC journal Pure and Applied Chemistry and is available online at Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 3, pp. pp 753-755 (doi: 10.1351/PACREC-09-08-20)."

So there it is. The final word on copernicium – without numbers down the side of the page (like the provisional report Mitch alerted us all to).

But it’s not the final word for new elements: IUPAC go on to tease us: “The Joint Working Party will issue a second report, dealing with claims for the discovery of elements with atomic numbers in the range 113 to 118, in the near future.” I can less-than-exclusively reveal that Wikipedia reports that the Riken team who are co-claiming discovery have suggested ‘japonium’ and ‘rikenium’ (original interview here).

Watch this space for more element-naming news…


Neil Withers

(Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)