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Submissions invited to establish priorities for the discovery of elements of atomic numbers greater than 110

IUPAC and IUPAP have recently jointly agreed that the same Working Group that examined the claims for priority for the discovery of elements 110-112 should now consider analogous claims for priority for the discovery of elements of Atomic Numbers greater than 110. Any laboratory with an interest is now invited to send a submission containing full documentation and bibliographic details supporting any claims to reach the address given below before Wednesday 5th of December next. Please also include copies of any relevant papers.


The following is a brief background to this request. In order to prevent a recurrence of the unhappiness that attended the eventual assignment of names for elements 103-109 IUPAC instituted a new procedure, administered by its Inorganic Division, for the naming of elements 110-112. The Presidents of IUPAC and IUPAP, acting jointly, set up a small independent Working Group of suitably qualified experts to adjudicate on the validity and relative values of claims for priority for the discovery of these three elements. The report of this Working Group was based on invited submissions of relevant papers and other documentation. This report was first checked for technical accuracy by the claimants, refereed by other independent experts and finally sent for approval by the Governing bodies of the Unions before being published.

The next step in the new procedure is to formally approach the selected claimants to request their suggestions for names. The Inorganic Division of IUPAC will then produce a slate of names for public review. It is understood that the suggestions of the claimants to whom priority has been assigned will carry the greatest weight in each case but clearly these cannot be accepted uncritically and without public review. If the Inorganic Division does not find it possible to accept a name suggested for an element by its discoverers then it will approach that group again for further discussion and to seek an alternative suggestion before any recommendations are made public. After the public review period, normally of five months duration, the Inorganic Division Committee will reassess its recommendations and finalise them for submission to the next IUPAC General Assembly for final approval*.

For elements 110-112 The Joint Working Group's Report entitled 'On the discovery of the elements 110-112' is published in Volume 73, No. 6, June 2001 of Pure and Applied Chemistry. In essence this concluded that the criteria for the discovery of a new element, previously established by the 1992 IUPAC/IUPAP Transfermium Working Group, were fulfilled only by the claim of the Hofmann et al. group for the discovery of element 110 at GSI. This is the reason why submissions are now again being sought so that the Working group can begin the work of establishing priorities for the discovery of elements of Atomic Numbers greater than 110.

Submissions deadline
December 5th 2001

Requests for further information should be addressed to

Professor John Corish
President Inorganic Division of IUPAC,
Professor of Physical Chemistry
Trinity College
University of Dublin
Dublin 2, IRELAND
Telephone: +353-1-6081776
Fax: +353-1-6712826
email: [email protected]

* A paper describing the process and entitled 'The naming of new elements' prepared by W. H. Koppenol is currently going through the final review process within IUPAC prior to its publication in Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Release, 10 Oct. 2001

Page last modified 11 October 2001.
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