The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced today new proposed names for elements 114 and 116, stated in a press release from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Scientists of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia and from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA proposed the names as Flerovium for element 114 and Livermorium for element 116.
Flerovium (atomic symbol Fl) was chosen to honor Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, where superheavy elements, including element 114, were synthesized. Georgiy N. Flerov (1913-1990) was a renowned physicist who discovered the spontaneous fission of uranium and was a pioneer in heavy-ion physics. He is the founder of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.
Livermorium (atomic symbol Lv) was chosen to honor Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the city of Livermore. A group of researchers from the Laboratory, along with scientists at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, participated in the work carried out in Dubna on the synthesis of superheavy elements, including element 116.
“Proposing these names for the elements honors not only the individual contributions of scientists from these laboratories to the fields of nuclear science, heavy element research, and superheavy element research, but also the phenomenal cooperation and collaboration that has occurred between scientists at these two locations,” said Bill Goldstein from LLNL.
The creation of elements 116 and 114 involved smashing calcium ions (with 20 protons each) into a curium target (96 protons) to create element 116. Element 116 decayed almost immediately into element 114. The scientists also created element 114 separately by replacing curium with a plutonium target (94 protons).
The creation of elements 114 and 116 generate hope that the team is on its way to the “island of stability,” an area of the periodic table in which new heavy elements would be stable or last long enough for applications to be found.