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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 5
September 2002


Highlights from Pure and Applied Chemistry

Naming of New Elements (IUPAC Recommendations 2002)

by W. H. Koppenol
Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 5, pp. 787-791 (2002)


The recent debate on the naming of the transfermium elements has centered on two issues: (1) priority of discovery and (2) the right of discoverers to suggest names. This paper proposes a procedure to name new elements that clarifies these issues. After the discovery of a new element is established by a joint IUPAC—IUPAP Working Group, the discoverers are invited to propose a name and a symbol to the IUPAC Inorganic Chemistry Division. Elements can be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property, or a scientist. After examination and acceptance by the Inorganic Chemistry Division, the proposal follows the accepted IUPAC procedure and is then submitted to the IUPAC Council for approval.



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