Talk:Systematic element name

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I haven't studied chemistry since secondary school, but the first couple of sentances seem odd. What does 'trivial' permanent name mean? Do big numbered elements get a significant name too? I would have thought that the situation might be that elements have a 'trivial' name until someone actually synthesises them and then can call them whatever they like. As I said, I'm pretty ignorant about this sort of thing. Thanks. 21:31, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, elements with large atomic numbers also do get permanent names. So here's the story about why they don't do it like you simply have the first person to discover an element get to name it whatever they want.
Before the 1990's, that principle did apply in which if you first find it, you name it. But what happened was with elements 104-109, research labs in America, the Soviet Union, and Germany all claimed to have created these elements first, so as you can imagine, the all started quarreling with one another over who discovered the element first and who had the rights to name it. So each nation would just name it whatever they liked (for element 105, the Americans called it hahnium (Ha), the Soviets called it dubnium (Db), and (I think) the Germans called it joliotium (Jo).)
Eventually, the IUPAC was getting fet up with all the arguing and sometime in the 90's they came up with the systematic system using Greek and Latin numerical prefixes. They gave element 104 the name of unnilquadium, 105 the name of unnilpentium, and so on, up to 109 (unnilennium). Then, in 1997, they decided on the names these elements have today. The same thing happened with elements 110 (ununnillium/darmstadtium) and 111 (unununium/roentgenium). Right now, Russia, America, and Germany still argue over elements 112-116, 118, while 117 and Period 8 still lays hidden. This system still applies today, in which as soon as a nation claims to of made a new element, the IUPAC decides who really did make the element* and then decides who gets to name it.
  • Regarding dubnium, still to this day, we don't know who made it first. So I believe that since America got what they wanted with 104, they just decided the Soviets deserved at least one transactinide for them. Also, the IUPAC is INTERNATIONAL (that's what the I means), and wasn't biased towards either side. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Venusium112 (talkcontribs) 17:31, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Joliotium was actually Jl. It wasn't discovered by the Germans. Hexadecachoron talk contribs 08:02, 17 September 2009 (UTC)


I'm removing the "deca" entry for ten in the table, because it just makes no sense. Just to be sure, I checked that it does not appear in other references. It's been there 5 months... Such are the limitations of Wikipedia, I guess Ratfox 19:36, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I at first thought 120 had to be "unundecium". Now I know better. ;-) Hexadecachoron talk contribs 08:01, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Unsepttrium or Unseptrium[edit]

Does anyone know which of Unseptrium or Unsepttrium is correct, because I have seen conflicting sources. I know that according to the rules, Unsepttrium would be correct, but it just sounds awkward. Does anyone know anything about this. Yankeesrule3 (talk) 00:38, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

It would be spelled Unsepttrium but pronounced Unseptrium. 13:43 11 August 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:44, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

The only elision rules that depart from the expected spelling reduce double -ii- (which would occur if the last digit is 2 or 3) to single -i-, and triple -nnn- (which would occur if a 0 immediately follows a 9) to double -nn-. Double sharp (talk) 16:30, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Why not to name all elements with IUPAC?[edit]

I suggest to keep the names of ancient elements (Ex: gold, silver, copper, iron, tin), and other elements can be named as their atomic number (Ex: hydrogen is "unium", helium is "bion", lithium is "trium", etc.), if not, why element 53 is "iodine", it should be named "quintrine", why not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:22, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

It is because this system was invented for unconfirmed elements, so that academic papers, research journals, etc. have a name they could refer to. The use of the IUPAC name implies that the element is unconfirmed, so they don't need to write (unconfirmed) next to a hypothesized element. Unconfirmed means the element hasn't been reproduced in multiple laboratories around the world & scientifically validated. Once an element is confirmed to exist, the IUPAC needs to come up with yet another name to distinguish it from unconfirmed elements, this is where the politics come into play. (talk) 22:58, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
Moreover it wouldn't work in Chinese. Each time an element is named, the Chinese create ONE character for it, so it fits in the table. A compound of syllables would be up to three numbers and therefore three characters. Besides, who do you think you are? Your suggestion doesn't interest anyone.-- (talk) 19:44, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, it could work as a character with a multisyllabic pronunciation (this is not unheard of, e.g. 吋 cùn or yīngcùn, although this is very rare nowadays): a possible concept would be to have the "metal" radical (traditional 釒, simplified 钅) on the left side, and then the characters for the digits, stacked. (For readability's sake, zero would probably have to be 〇 rather than 零.) The characters for 1, 2, and 3, being 一, 二, and 三, would need some means of character separation: maybe they would alternate between horizontal and vertical orientations if they succeed each other immediately. Double sharp (talk) 16:26, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
For the first few, you could use Suzhou numerals. — Sebastian 17:52, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! I'd probably just use them for the otherwise ambiguous cases of 1, 2, and 3, to alternate between horizontal and vertical strokes. (And also, thank you for demonstrating that piping trick that avoids explicitly displaying the ping!) Double sharp (talk) 04:23, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
People seem to be ignoring two important parts of this system.
1) It is intended to provide temporary names for elements which don't yet have permanent names. Thus you don't call boron "pentium", because it already has a name.
2) Even if you forgot the name for boron, it isn't "pentium" or "nilnilpentium", it simply doesn't have a systematic name. The system is explicitly for transfermium elements, ie, elements past 100. Even using "unilnilium" for fermium is wrong, because this is for elements after 100.  Randall Bart   Talk  19:56, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed you are right (though I didn't ignore it, but instead gave a suggestion as to how this concept would work in Chinese). The original IUPAC article restricts it to Z ≥ 101, and notes that it is only from Z ≥ 104 that they became the only recognized names (in 1979) and not "minor alternatives to the trivial names" (mendelevium, nobelium, and lawrencium). Furthermore, since they say that the symbols must have 3 letters, it would appear that this recommendation only applies to 101 ≤ Z ≤ 999 (not that we'll ever get anywhere near that far, IMHO).
OTOH, if you have forgotten the name for boron, but know its atomic number, I think "element 5" should work all right. (Although it sounds really odd for such a light element.) And indeed you can often see "element 115" used instead of "ununpentium". Double sharp (talk) 13:21, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
  • What would "U" stand for? -DePiep (talk) 23:35, 29 September 2015 (UTC)