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Encyclopedia > Element naming controversy

The names for the chemical elements 104 to 109 were the subject of a major controversy starting in the 1960s which was finally resolved in 1997. The periodic table of the chemical elements A chemical element, or element for short, is a type of atom that is defined by its atomic number; that is, by the number of protons in its nucleus. ... For the Wikipedia policy regarding controversial issues in articles, see Wikipedia:Guidelines for controversial articles. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Year 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar). ...

Contents

The controversy

At issue was the convention that elements be named by their discoverers. This resulted in a nationalistic dispute between laboratories attempting to synthesize the elements first, thus earning naming rights for having "discovered" them. Therefore, in this context discovery is synonymous with first synthesis. The controversy arose when multiple groups claimed to have discovered the same elements. Usually the Russians were the first to make the claim, and the Americans would dispute, claiming the research could not be independently verified.


Opponents

The four groups which were involved in the conflict over element naming were:

The Berkeley Lab is perched on a hill overlooking the Berkeley central campus and San Francisco Bay. ... The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, JINR (Объединённый институт ядерных исследований, ОИЯИ in Russian) in Dubna, Moscow Oblast (120 km north of Moscow), Russia is an international research centre for nuclear sciences, involving around 1000 scientists from eighteen states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, DPR Korea, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland,Romania, Russia... Dubna is a small city located in central Russia, in the Taldomsky district of Moscow Oblast, approximately 125 km north of Moscow, on the banks of the Volga river. ... The Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung mbH (GSI, Institute for Heavy Ion Research) in Wixhausen, a suburb of Darmstadt, Germany is a federally funded heavy ion research center. ... Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hesse in Germany. ... IUPAC logo The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) (Pronounced as eye-you-pack) is an international non-governmental organization established in 1919 devoted to the advancement of chemistry. ...

Berkeley proposal

The preferred names for the elements by the American group were:

104 - rutherfordium
105 - hahnium
106 - seaborgium

General Name, Symbol, Number rutherfordium, Rf, 104 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 4, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (261) g/mol Electron configuration probably [Rn] 5f14 6d2 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 10, 2 Phase presumably a... General Name, Symbol, Number dubnium, Db, 105 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 5, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (262) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d3 7s2 (guess based on tantalum) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 11... General Name, Symbol, Number seaborgium, Sg, 106 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 6, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (266) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d4 7s2 (guess based on tungsten) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 12...

Dubna proposal

The preferred names for the elements by the Russian group were:

104 - kurchatovium
105 - nielsbohrium

The names for the chemical elements 104 to 108 have been the subject of a major controversy starting in the 1960s which was only finally resolved in 1997. ... General Name, Symbol, Number dubnium, Db, 105 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 5, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (262) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d3 7s2 (guess based on tantalum) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 11...

Darmstadt proposal

The preferred names for the elements by the German group were([2]):

107 - nielsbohrium
108 - hassium
109 - meitnerium

General Name, Symbol, Number bohrium, Bh, 107 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 7, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (264) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d5 7s2 (guess based on rhenium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 13... General Name, Symbol, Number hassium, Hs, 108 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (269) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d6 7s2 (guess based on osmium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 14... General Name, Symbol, Number meitnerium, Mt, 109 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 9, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (268) g·mol−1 Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d7 7s2 (guess based on iridium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32...

IUPAC proposal

Element 104 was named after Igor Kurchatov who was father of the Russian atomic bomb and this was one reason the name was objectionable to the Americans (yet Americans who worked on the atomic bomb had elements named for them). The American name to 106 was objectionable to some because Glenn T. Seaborg was still alive and handing out autographed periodic tables and hence his name could not be used for an element in accordance with the IUPAC rules. While it is commonly stated that Seaborgium is the only element to have been named after a living person, this is not entirely accurate. Both einsteinium and fermium were proposed as names of new elements discovered by Albert Ghiorso, Seaborg and the other American co-discoverers of those elements while Fermi and Einstein were still living. The discovery of these elements and their names were kept secret under Cold War era nuclear secrecy rules, however, and thus the names were not known by the public or the broader scientific community until after the deaths of Fermi and Einstein. Igor The Beard Kurchatov Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov (И́горь Васи́льевич Курча́тов) (January 8, 1903 – February 7, 1960), Soviet/Russian physicist. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... Glenn T. Seaborg Glenn Theodore Seaborg (April 19, 1912 – February 25, 1999) was an American chemist prominent in the discovery and isolation of ten transuranic elements including plutonium, americium, curium, berkelium, californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium and seaborgium, which was named in his honor. ... The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to the advancement of chemistry. ... General Name, Symbol, Number einsteinium, Es, 99 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Standard atomic weight (252) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 5f11 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 29, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase... General Name, Symbol, Number fermium, Fm, 100 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (257) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 5f12 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 30, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid... Albert Ghiorso (b. ...


In 1994, the IUPAC Commission on Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry proposed the following names

104 - dubnium
105 - joliotium
106 - rutherfordium
107 - bohrium
108 - hahnium
109 - meitnerium

This attempted to resolve the dispute by replacing the name for 104 with a name after the Dubna research center, and not to name 106 after Seaborg. General Name, Symbol, Number dubnium, Db, 105 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 5, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (262) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d3 7s2 (guess based on tantalum) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 11... The names for the chemical elements 104 to 108 have been the subject of a major controversy starting in the 1960s which was only finally resolved in 1997. ... General Name, Symbol, Number rutherfordium, Rf, 104 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 4, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (261) g/mol Electron configuration probably [Rn] 5f14 6d2 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 10, 2 Phase presumably a... General Name, Symbol, Number bohrium, Bh, 107 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 7, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (264) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d5 7s2 (guess based on rhenium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 13... General Name, Symbol, Number hassium, Hs, 108 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (269) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d6 7s2 (guess based on osmium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 14... General Name, Symbol, Number meitnerium, Mt, 109 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 9, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (268) g·mol−1 Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d7 7s2 (guess based on iridium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32... The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, JINR (Объединённый институт ядерных исследований, ОИЯИ in Russian) in Dubna, Moscow Oblast (120 km north of Moscow), Russia is an international research centre for nuclear sciences, involving around 1000 scientists from eighteen states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, DPR Korea, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland,Romania, Russia...


Objections

This was objected to by the American Chemical Society (ACS) on the grounds that the right of the American group to propose the name for element 106 was not in question and that group should have the right to name the element whatever it wanted to. Indeed, IUPAC decided that the credit for the discovery of element 106 should be shared between Berkeley and Dubna but the Dubna group had not come forward with a name. In addition, given that many American books had already used rutherfordium and hahnium for 104 and 105, the ACS objected to those names being used for other elements. The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a learned society (professional association) based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. ... The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to the advancement of chemistry. ...


Seaborg commented wryly at a talk in 1995 that "There has been some reluctance on the part of the Commission for Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry to accept the name because I'm still alive and they can prove it, they say." [1]


Resolution

Finally in 1997, the following names were agreed on the 39th IUPAC General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland Coat of arms of the Canton of Geneva Coat of arms of the City of Geneva Geneva (French: Genève, German: Genf, Italian: Ginevra, Romansh Genevra, Spanish: Ginebra) is the second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich), located where Lake Geneva (French: Lac de Genève or Lac L...

104 - rutherfordium
105 - dubnium
106 - seaborgium
107 - bohrium
108 - hassium
109 - meitnerium

But in 1999 Glenn T. Seaborg died, still disputing the name change for #105 and adamant about it remaining known as hahnium. His reason concerning Dubna in Russia was that he believed that they had made a false claim about discovering the element for which they had been credited. When the Dubna group finally did release some additional data on the experiment, Seaborg claimed that it was a misreading of the decay pattern of their product. Even then, the Dubna group still refused to remove their claim. Some people in the Berkeley group and some others still refer to it as hahnium. General Name, Symbol, Number rutherfordium, Rf, 104 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 4, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (261) g/mol Electron configuration probably [Rn] 5f14 6d2 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 10, 2 Phase presumably a... General Name, Symbol, Number dubnium, Db, 105 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 5, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (262) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d3 7s2 (guess based on tantalum) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 11... General Name, Symbol, Number seaborgium, Sg, 106 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 6, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (266) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d4 7s2 (guess based on tungsten) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 12... General Name, Symbol, Number bohrium, Bh, 107 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 7, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (264) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d5 7s2 (guess based on rhenium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 13... General Name, Symbol, Number hassium, Hs, 108 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (269) g/mol Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d6 7s2 (guess based on osmium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 14... General Name, Symbol, Number meitnerium, Mt, 109 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 9, 7, d Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (268) g·mol−1 Electron configuration perhaps [Rn] 5f14 6d7 7s2 (guess based on iridium) Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 32... Year 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar). ... Glenn T. Seaborg Glenn Theodore Seaborg (April 19, 1912 – February 25, 1999) was an American chemist prominent in the discovery and isolation of ten transuranic elements including plutonium, americium, curium, berkelium, californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium and seaborgium, which was named in his honor. ...


See also

This is a list of chemical elements named after people. ... This is a list of chemical elements named after places. ... In chemistry, heavy transuranic elements receive a permanent trivial name and symbol only after their synthesis has been confirmed. ...

References

  1. ^ An Early History of LNBL by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg [1]

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Hassium - Hs 108 | Element 108 of the Periodic Table (221 words)
The name hassium was proposed by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg.
It is derived from the Latin name for the German state of Hessen where the institute for Heavy Ion Research is located.
In 1997 however, the name hassium was adopted.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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