Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Systematic element name

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

A systematic element name is the temporary name assigned to a newly synthesized or not yet synthesized chemical element. A systematic symbol is also derived from this name. In chemistry, a transuranic element receives a permanent name and symbol only after its synthesis has been confirmed. In some cases, such as Transfermium Wars, such controversies have been protracted and highly political. In order to discuss such elements without ambiguity, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) uses a set of rules to assign a temporary systematic name and symbol to each such element. This approach to naming originated in the successful development of regular rules for the naming of organic compounds.

IUPAC rules

The temporary names are derived systematically from the element's atomic number, and are only applicable for 101 ≤ Z ≤ 999. Each digit is translated to a 'numerical root', according to the table. The roots are concatenated, and the name is completed with the ending suffix -ium. Some of the roots are Latin and others are Greek to avoid two digits starting with the same letter (for example, the Greek-derived pent is used instead of the Latin derived quint to avoid confusion with quad for 4). There are two elision rules designed to prevent odd-looking names.

  • If bi or tri is followed by the ending ium (i.e. the last digit is 2 or 3), the result is '-bium' or -'trium', not '-biium' or '-triium'.
  • If enn is followed by nil (i.e. the sequence -90- occurs), the result is '-ennil-', not '-ennnil-'.
  • The suffix -ium overrides traditional chemical suffix rules; thus elements 117 and 118 were ununseptium and ununoctium, not ununseptine and ununocton. This does not apply to the final trivial names these elements receive once confirmed; thus element 117 and 118 are now tennessine and oganesson. For these trivial names, all elements receive the suffix -ium, except those in group 17 which receive -ine (like the halogens) and those in group 18 which receive -on (like the noble gases).

    The systematic symbol is formed by taking the first letter of each root, converting the first to a capital. This results in three-letter symbols instead of the one- or two-letter symbols used for named elements.

    As of 2016, all 118 discovered elements have received individual permanent names and symbols. Systematic names and symbols are only used for the undiscovered elements beyond element 118 (oganesson).


    Systematic element name Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    AE: Apocalypse Earth
    Pheri Bhetaula
    Paul Ranheim