List of places used in the names of chemical elements

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40 of the 118 chemical elements have names associated with, or specifically named for, places around the world or among astronomical objects. 32 of these have names tied to the Earth and the other 8 have names connected to bodies in the Solar System. The first tables below list the terrestrial locations (excluding the entire Earth itself, taken as a whole) and the last table lists astronomical objects which the chemical elements are named after.[1]

Terrestrial locations[edit]

Location Element Symbol Z Coordinates
 
Europe Europium Eu 63
Magnesia, a district in Greece Magnesium Mg 12 39°25′N 22°50′E / 39.417°N 22.833°E / 39.417; 22.833 (Magnesia)
Manganese Mn 25
Cyprus Copper Cu 29
France (ancient name Gaul) Francium Fr 87
Gallium Ga 31
Lutecia, Latin name for Paris Lutetium Lu 71 48°51′N 2°21′E / 48.85°N 2.35°E / 48.85; 2.35 (Lutecia (Paris))
Germany Germanium Ge 32
Hesse, a state in Germany Hassium Hs 108
Darmstadt, a city in Germany Darmstadtium Ds 110 49°50′N 8°34′E / 49.833°N 8.567°E / 49.833; 8.567 (Darmstadt)
River Rhine Rhenium Re 75
Strontian, a village in Scotland Strontium Sr 38 56°41′N 5°34′W / 56.683°N 5.567°W / 56.683; -5.567 (Strontium)
Scandinavia Scandium Sc 21
Hafnia, Latin name for Copenhagen Hafnium Hf 72 55°41′N 12°34′E / 55.683°N 12.567°E / 55.683; 12.567 (Hafnia)
Thule (probably Norway) Thulium Tm 69
Holmia, Latin name for Stockholm Holmium Ho 67 59°20′N 18°47′E / 59.333°N 18.783°E / 59.333; 18.783 (Holmia (Stockholm))
Ytterby, a village in Sweden Yttrium Y 39 59°25′35″N 18°21′13″E / 59.42639°N 18.35361°E / 59.42639; 18.35361 (Ytterby)
Terbium Tb 65
Erbium Er 68
Ytterbium Yb 70
Poland Polonium Po 84
Ruthenia, Latin name for Russia Ruthenium Ru 44
Moscow Oblast, Russia Moscovium Mc 115 55°42′N 36°58′E / 55.700°N 36.967°E / 55.700; 36.967
Dubna, a town in Russia Dubnium Db 105 56°44′N 37°10′E / 56.733°N 37.167°E / 56.733; 37.167 (Dubna)
Americas (some sources say the United States specifically)[2][3][4][5] Americium Am 95
California, a state in the United States Californium Cf 98
Berkeley, California, a city in the United States Berkelium Bk 97 37°52′N 122°16′W / 37.867°N 122.267°W / 37.867; -122.267 (Berkeley, California)
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in the United States Livermorium Lv 116 37°41′N 121°43′W / 37.683°N 121.717°W / 37.683; -121.717 (Livermore)
Tennessee, a state in the United States Tennessine Ts 117
Japan (Nihon 日本) Nihonium Nh 113

Terrestrial locations (Indirect connotation)[edit]

Location Element Symbol Z Coordinates
Belur, India[6] Beryllium Be 4 13°9′46.44″N 75°51′25.56″E / 13.1629000°N 75.8571000°E / 13.1629000; 75.8571000 (Belur)

Astronomical objects[edit]

40 elements have names connected to places, with 31 found around the world (not counting the planet as a whole), and 9 among bodies in the Solar System. Countries with elements named for them are colored in, as with US states having this honor. Other locations are indicated with lines if smaller, or are enclosed if larger. Inset at the bottom is a diagram of outer space. The Sun, Moon and half of the planets along with two asteroids and Pluto are the 9 with connections to element names. The other half of the planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) do not have any connection. The connection to Mercury is an indirect one. The connection with beryllium to India is likewise indirect. (Inset graphic is adapted from the Pioneer plaque.)


Astronomical object Element Symbol Z
Sun Helium He 2
Mercury* Mercury* Hg 80
Moon Selenium Se 34
Pallas (asteroid) Palladium Pd 46
Earth Tellurium Te 52
Ceres (dwarf planet) Cerium Ce 58
Uranus Uranium U 92
Neptune Neptunium Np 93
Pluto (dwarf planet) Plutonium Pu 94

* - The element mercury was named directly for the deity, with only indirect naming connection to the planet (see etymology of mercury).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Page of Kevin A. Boudreaux and Angelo State university
  2. ^ [1] - "The element was named after the United States of America."
  3. ^ [2] - "Four other countries have elements named after them: francium for France, germanium for Germany, polonium for Poland, and americium for the United States."
  4. ^ [3] - "Americium (95 Am): Named for (the United States of) America, the land where the element was discovered during the course of the Manhattan Project, the US-led World War II programme that would develop the first atomic bomb."
  5. ^ [4] - "The element is named after America, especially the United States of America."
  6. ^ Olivelle, Patrick (2006), Between the Empires, Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE, page 463, Oxford University Press.