15 Elements Named after Scientists

About 118 elements are known today and more are being discovered by scientists with time. Some of the elements of the periodic table are named after famous scientists to give them tribute for their contribution to science. Among these, elements named after the most famous scientists are Bohrium, Curium, Einsteinium, Nobelium, Rutherfordium, Seaborgium, Lawrencium, Roentgenium, Fermium, Mendelevium, etc.

How do elements get their names?

Elements got their names after the name of the discovering scientist, similar common substance, place where it was discovered, and mythological concept or characters. Here are some of the examples of elements and how were they named:

A mineral or similar substance:

Calcium after Latin calx (lime), sodium after soda, and potassium after potash.

Beryllium was named after the mineral beryl.

A place, or geographical region:

Polonium is named after Poland.

Americium is named after the Americas.

Europium is named after Europe.

Berkelium is named after the American city Berkeley.

Francium and gallium were both named after France.

Nihonium is named after Japan.

Germanium is named after Germany.

A person/ discoverer:

Samarium after Vasili Yevgrafovich Samarsky-Bykhovets Russian mining engineer.

A mythological concept or character:

Helium after Helios (Sun God), Iridium after the Greek goddess Iris

Tellurium after the Roman goddess of the earth, Tellus Mater.

Tribute to Scientists:

Some elements were named to tribute great scientists of history i.e,

  • Bohrium (Niels Bohr)
  • Curium (Marie and Pierre Curie)
  • Einsteinium (Albert Einstein), etc

15 elements named after scientists

elements named after scientists

These are the 15 elements named after scientists:

  • Bohrium (Niels Bohr)
  • Curium (Marie and Pierre Curie)
  • Einsteinium (Albert Einstein)
  • Fermium (Enrico Fermi)
  • Lawrencium (Ernest Lawrence)
  • Roentgenium (Wilhelm Röntgen)
  • Rutherfordium (Ernest Rutherford)
  • Seaborgium (Glenn T. Seaborg)
  • Mendelevium (Dmitri Mendeleev)
  • Nobelium (Alfred Nobel)
  • Oganesson (Yuri Oganessian)
  • Gadolinium (John Gadolin)
  • Flerovium (Georgy Flyorov)
  • Copernicium (Nicolaus Coperncius)
  • Meitnerium (Lise Meitner) 

Bohrium (Bh)

History

Bohrium was first discovered In 1975 by a team led by Yuri Oganessian at the Russian Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna. They bombarded bismuth with chromium and produced the element of atomic number 107. They published their results in 1976.

Later on, in 1981 Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg confirmed the discovery of Bohrium at the German nuclear research institute the Geselleschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI).

Origin of the name

Bohrium was named to tribute Danish physicist Neils Bohr. Initially, it was named Neilsbohrium. And its symbol was Ns, later on, the International Union of Applied and Pure Chemistry (IUPAC) from Neilsbohrium to Bohrium. And now its symbol is Bh.

Electronic configuration

The atomic number of Bohrium is 107 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f146d57s2.

Properties 

  • Bohrium is a synthetic element.
  • It is a solid metal at 200C.
  • There are 10 isotopes of bohrium with known half-lives.

Uses 

Bohrium is used only for scientific studies and research.

Curium

History

Curium (Cm) was made in 1944, by the team of Glenn Seaborg, Ralph James, and Albert Ghiorso Berkeley, California. They bombarded plutonium with radioactive alpha particles using a cyclotron. This was chemically separated and identified at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago.

Origin of the name

Curium was named to tribute the contribution of great scientists Marie and Pierre Curie in the field of chemistry and physics.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of curium is 96 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f76d17s2.

Properties 

  • Curium is a hard, brittle, silvery metal that tarnishes slowly in dry air at room temperature.
  • It is a very radioactive and electropositive metal.
  • Its atomic mass is 247.
  • In dark, it glows purple.
  • Its melting point is 1340-1345°C.
  • Curium exhibits +3 and +4 oxidation states.
  • The density of curium is 13.51 g.cm-3 at 20°C.

Uses

Curium has been used to provide power to electrical equipment and as a heat source for compact thermionic used on space missions. Cm-242 is an alpha emitter and is used in pacemakers in their power output. It generates roughly 2 to 3 watts of power per gram via heat energy.

 Einsteinium 

History

Einsteinium was discovered in December 1952 from debris taken from the first thermonuclear (hydrogen bomb) explosion, “Mike,” in the South Pacific (November 1952). It was discovered by Albert Ghiorso and coworkers at Berkeley, California. It was first collected on filter paper by drone airplanes flying through the radioactive explosion clouds.

Origin of name 

It was named to honor one of the greatest German physicists of all time Albert Einstein. 

Electronic configuration

The atomic number of Einsteinium is 99 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f117s2.

Properties 

  • Einsteinium is synthetic, radioactive metal.
  • It is a soft, silvery, paramagnetic metal.
  • It exhibits +2 and +3 oxidation states.
  • Its density of 8.84 g/cm3.
  • The melting point of einsteinium 860°C.
  • Nineteen radioactive isotopes are known and the most stable is Es-252.

Uses

Einsteinium is used in scientific research, especially to produce higher transuranic elements.

Fermium

History 

Fermium was also discovered by American chemist Albert Ghiorso and coworkers at Berkeley from debris taken from the first thermonuclear (hydrogen bomb) explosion, “Mike,” in the South Pacific (November 1952). 

Origin of name 

It was named after the Italian-born American physicist Enrico Fermi. Fermi’s first major contribution involved the field of statistical mechanics, quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics.

Electronic configuration

The atomic number of Fermium is 100 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f127s2.

Properties 

  • Fermium is a synthetic and radioactive metal.
  • It exhibits +2 and +3 oxidation states.
  • The melting point of Fermium is 1527°C.

Uses

Fermium is used in scientific research.

Lawrencium 

History 

In 1958 and 1960, the scientists of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory attempted to synthesize the element of Z=103. The results of their experiment were not conclusive. It was discovered at the University of California, Berkeley by the nuclear-physics team of Albert Ghiorso, Torbjorn Sikkeland, Almon Larsh, Robert M. Latimer, and their co-workers on February 14, 1961. Later on, in 1965, a team of Soviet scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna discovered lawrencium-256.

Origin of name

Lawrencium was named after American physicist Ernest O. Lawrence. He was a famous nuclear scientist. He invented the cyclotron. It is a device for accelerating nuclear particles to very high velocities without the use of high voltages.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of Lawrencium is 103 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f147s27p1.

Properties 

  • Lawrencium is synthetic, radioactive metal.
  • It exhibits a +3 oxidation state.
  • The melting point of Lawrencium is 1627 °C.
  • Fourteen isotopes of lawrencium are known.

Uses

Lawrencium is used in scientific research.

Roentgenium 

History 

In 1986, physicists at the Russian Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), bombarded bismuth with nickel hoping to make element 111, but they failed. Later on, on December 8, 1994, a team led by Sigurd Hofmann at the Gesellschaft fur Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany, repeated the same experiment and was successful. They bombarded bismuth-209 with accelerated nuclei of nickel-64 and produce roentgenium.

Origin of name

Roentgenium was named after the German mechanical engineer and physicist Wilhelm Rontgen. He was the discoverer of X-rays.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of Roentgenium is 111 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f146d107s1.

Properties 

  • Roentgenium is a synthetic and radioactive metal.
  • It is very heavy metal.
  • Nine radioactive isotopes of roentgenium are known.

Uses

Roentgenium is used in scientific research, especially to produce heavier elements.

Rutherfordium 

History

Rutherfordium was first detected In 1964, by a team led by Georgy Flerov at the Russian Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna. They bombarded plutonium with neon and produced element Z= 104. Later on, In 1969, a team of Albert Ghiorso performed an experiment at the Californian Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) and was successful.

They bombarded curium with oxygen to get isotope-260, californium with carbon to get isotope-257, and californium with carbon to get isotope-258.

Origin of name

Initially, it was named kurchatovium, to honor Igor Kurchatov, a Soviet nuclear physicist. Its symbol was Ku (for Igor Kurchatov, a Soviet nuclear physicist). Later on, Americans then proposed the name rutherfordium, in honor of the British physicist Ernest Rutherford.

Electronic configuration

The atomic number of Rutherfordium is 104 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f146d27s2.

Properties 

  • Rutherfordium is a synthetic and radioactive metal.
  • It exhibits a +4 oxidation state
  • Sixteen radioactive isotopes of roentgenium are known.

Uses

Rutherfordium is used in scientific research, for nuclear power and medicinal purposes.

Seaborgium

History

In June 1974, a team led by Georgy Flerov and Yuri Oganessian at the Russian Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) claimed the synthesis of element Z=106. They bombarded lead with chromium using a cyclotron.

In September 1974, a team led by Albert Ghiorso at the Californian Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) claimed synthesis of the same element. They bombarded californium with oxygen using a machine called the Super-Heavy Ion Linear Accelerator.

Origin of name 

It was named to honor the American nuclear chemist Glenn T. Seaborg. He was involved in the synthesis and discovery of ten transuranium elements.  

Electronic configuration

The atomic number of Seaborgium is 106 and its electronic configuration is [Rn86] 5f146d47s2.

Properties 

  • Seaborgium is synthetic, radioactive metal.
  • It is a super heavy metal.
  • Twelve radioactive isotopes of Seaborgium are known.

Uses

Seaborgium is used in scientific research.

Mendelevium 

History 

In 1955 a team of Albert Ghiorso, Bernard Harvey, Gregory Chopin, Stanley Thompson, and Glenn Seaborg claim the discovery of mendelevium at the University of California, Berkeley. They produced seventeen atoms of mendelevium. They bombarded einsteinium-253 with alpha-particles using the cyclotron. Mendelevium is the 9th transuranium element.

Origin of name 

Mendelevium was named after the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. He was the father of the periodic table. Initially, Its symbol was Mv, later on, it changed to Md.

Electronic configuration

The atomic number of Mendelevium is 101 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f137s2.

Properties 

  • Mendelevium is a synthetic and radioactive metal.
  • It exhibits +2 and +3 oxidation states.
  • The melting point of Lawrencium is 827°C.
  • Seventeen radioactive isotopes of mendelevium are known.

Uses

Mendelevium is used in scientific research.

Nobelium 

History

In 1957, nobelium was first claimed by a team of scientists working at the Nobel Institute of Physics in Stockholm. Then, in 1958, Albert Ghiorso, T. Sikkeland, J.R. Walton, and Glenn T. Seaborg at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) claimed isotope-254. They bombarded curium with carbon atoms by using a heavy-ion linear accelerator.

In 1962-63, a Soviet scientific team led by Georgy Flerov at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, achieved similar results.

Origin of name

Nobelium was named after Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel. He was the founder of the noble prize.

Electronic configuration

The atomic number of Nobelium is 102 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f147s2.

Properties 

  • Nobelium is a synthetic and radioactive metal.
  • It is the 10th transuranium element.
  • It exhibits +2 and +3 oxidation states.
  • The melting point of nobelium is 827 °C
  • Thirteen radioactive isotopes of Nobelium are known.

Uses

Nobelium is used in scientific research.

Oganesson

History 

In 1999, a team of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley Labs in California published a paper about the discovery of element Z=118. They bombarded lead-282 with krypton-86. Their results were not confirmed and their paper was rejected. 

In 2002, Russian scientists at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia also claimed the discovery of oganesson. They bombarded Calcium-48 with Californium-249 using the cyclotron. Some of the data had been falsified. In 2006, an element with Z=118  was officially announced by a joint team of Russian and American scientists.

Origin of name

Oganesson was named after Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian. He was a Russian nuclear scientist and contributed greatly to the research and synthesis of the transactinide elements.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of Oganesson is 118 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f146d107s27p6.

Properties 

  • Oganesson is a synthetic, radioactive element.
  • It is an inert element.
  • The only confirmed isotope of oganesson is 294Og

Uses

Oganesson is used for research purposes.

Gadolinium 

History 

In 1880, Swiss chemist Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac claimed the discovery of the new element Z=64 at Geneva. He detected its oxide from the mineral samarskite by using spectroscopy. In 1886, French chemist Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran confirmed Marignac’s discovery. He isolated the pure sample of gadolinium for the first time.

Origin of name

It was named after the Johan Gadolin. He was a chemist, physicist, and mineralogist. He discovered the first rare-earth compound yttrium.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of Gadollinium is 64 and its electronic configuration is [Xe] 4f75d16s2.

Properties 

  • Gadolinium is a moderately ductile, bright, soft, and silvery-white metal.
  • It is paramagnetic at room temperature.
  • It is stable in the air. (tarnish with time)
  • The reaction of Gadolinium with water is slow.
  • It is soluble in dilute acids.
  • Gadolinium mostly exhibits a +3 oxidation state.
  • Its melting point is 1313°C.
  • Its boiling point is 3273°C.

Uses

Gadolinium is used to make a temperature-resistant alloy of chromium and iron. Its compounds are useful in MRI for the diagnosis of cancerous cells. It has been used in the core of nuclear reactors. 

Gadolinium sulfate is used for demagnetization. Gadolinium as a phosphor is used in X-rays, fluorescent lamps, and picture tubes of color television.

Flerovium

History 

In 1998, a team led by Yuri Oganessian and Vladimir Utyonkov at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Russia claimed the discovery of element Z=114. They produced it by bombarding plutonium-244 with the accelerated calcium-48. This produces Flerovium-289 with a half-life of 0.97sec, which decays and emits an alpha particle.

Origin of name

It was named after the great nuclear physicist of Russia Georgy Flyorov. He was the founder of the great research laboratory Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), in Dubna, Moscow Oblast.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of Flerovium is 114 and its electronic configuration is  [Rn] 5f146d107s27p2.

Properties 

  • It is a superheavy synthetic radioactive element.
  • It is solid at room temperature.
  • It has 8 radioactive isotopes.

Uses

Flerovium is used in the synthesis of other radioactive elements. It is mainly used in scientific research.

Copernicium

History

On Feb 9, 1996, a team of  Sigurd Hofmann produced copernicium at the Gesellschaft fur Schwerionenforschung (GSI) working at the Institute for Heavy Ion Research Darmstadt, Germany announced the production of element Z=112. They bombarded lead-208 with accelerated Zinc-70 and produce 277Cn that had a half-life of 0.24 milliseconds.

Origin of name

It was named after great Polish mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Initially, its symbol was Cp, later on, changed to Cn.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of Copernicium is 112 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f146d107s2.

Properties 

  • It is a synthetic radioactive element.
  • It is solid at room temperature.
  • Copernicium has four radioactive isotopes with known half-lives.
  • It exhibits a +2 oxidation state.

Uses

Copernicium is used only in scientific research.

Meitnerium 

History 

On August 29, 1982, a team of Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Munzenberg and Gesellschaft fur Schwerionenforschung (GSI), claimed the synthesis of element Z=109 at Heavy Ion Laboratory at Darmstadt Germany. They bombarded bismuth-209 with beams of iron-58 using a high-energy linear accelerator. The resultant fusion reaction leads to the formation of isotope meitnerium-266.

In 1985, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, at Dubna, also confirmed their work.

Origin of name 

It was named after Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner. She was the discoverer of radioactive element protactinium and nuclear fission.

Electronic configuration

Atomic number of Copernicium is 109 and its electronic configuration is [Rn] 5f146d77s2.

Properties 

  • It is a synthetic radioactive element.
  • It is solid at room temperature. 
  •  Meitnerium has four radioactive isotopes with known half-lives.

Uses

Meitnerium is only used in research.

Concepts berg

How do elements get their names?

Elements get their names after:

  • Mineral 
  • Place or geographical region
  • Mythological concept
  • Discoverer/person
  • Tribute to scientist 

If 23 elements on the periodic table were discovered by British scientists why are there no elements named after Britain?

Before the IUPAC elements were named after the discoverer, place, or minerals from where it is obtained. Although the British discover 23 elements, they did not name any element after Britain.

Which element of the periodic table is named after US states?

There are two elements named after US states

  1. Californium 
  2. Tennessee 

What are 4 elements that are named after planets? 

Four elements named after planets are;

  1. Uranium (Uranus)
  2. Plutonium (Pluto)
  3. Mercury (Mercury)
  4. Neptunium (Neptune)

How many elements are discovered by Indian scientists?

Till today no element is discovered by any Indian scientists.

What are the manmade elements on the periodic table?

Out of 118 elements, 94 elements are naturally occurring whereas, 24 are synthetic elements. All transuranium elements are synthetic or man-made. They do not occur naturally.

Which element is named after a Continent?

Europium is an element that is named after the continent of Europe.

What elements are named after a Sweden Village?

There are four elements named after Sweden Village:

  • Yttrium
  • Terbium
  • Erbium
  • Ytterbium 

What elements are named after a country?

The element named after countries

  • Germanium (Germany)
  • Americium (America)
  • Francium (France)
  • Polonium (Poland)
  • Nihonium (Japan)
  • Gallium (Gaul ancient name of France)

How did Titanium get its name?

Titanium was named after the Titans. In the Greek mythological concept titan was the son of the earth goddess.

Who is the father of the modern periodic table?

Henry G. J. Moseley is the father of the modern periodic table.

The chemical element with the longest name is named after what person?

Rutherfordium is an element with the longest name and it is named after the famous New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford.

What is the name of the Swedish village that four chemical elements are named after?

Ytterby is the village of Sweden after which four elements are named.

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