Get ready to amend you periodic tables. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has officially approved the names for elements 114 and 116. Meet Flerovium and Livermorium.

These synthetic superheavy elements aren't precisely new; in 2000, researchers in Dubna, Russia observed the decay of an atom of Element 116, now Livermorium (atomic symbol Lv), after smashing calcium ions into a curium target. Livermorium quickly decayed into Element 114, now Flerovium (Fl). Since then, both elements have been reproduced in the lab, and in 2009, the IUPAC accepted the identification of Element 114, and in 2011 the identification of Element 116. This week, the IUPAC announced the elements' official names.


Flerovium is named for Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, where superheavy elements are synthesized, and by extension Georgiy N. Flerov, the physicist who discovered the spontaneous fission of uranium. Livermorium is named for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; researchers from both Livermore and Flerov participated in the synthesis of the elements in Dubna.

To students memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements, take note of those spellings. Next time, they will be on the test.


Livermorium and Flerovium join the periodic table of elements [Lawrence Livermore via PhysOrg]