Chemical Element: ununbium

(Modern Latin: a temporary IUPAC [International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry] nomenclature; radioactive metal)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Uub
Atomic number: 112
Year discovered: First event: February 1, 1996, 11:52 hours; Second event: February 9, 1996, 22:37 hours.

Discovered by: Sigurd Hofmann, Victor Ninov, F. P. Hessberger, P. Armbruster, H. Folger, G. Münzenberg, H. J. Schött, and others; at Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany.

  • Element 112 was discovered on February 9, 1996, at 22:37 hours at the GSI (Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschungin) at Darmstadt, Germany.
  • The identified isotope currently is the heaviest atom ever produced by man and has an atomic mass of 277, that is, 277 times heavier than hydrogen.
  • The new element was produced by fusing a zinc atom with a lead atom. To achieve this, the zinc atom was accelerated to high energies by the heavy ion accelerator UNILAC at GSI and directed onto a lead target.
  • On Thursday, March 18, 1999, in an exchange of e-mail with Dr. Sigurd Hofmann of GSI, he stated that his institute has proposed new names for Elements 110, 111, and 112 to the IUPAP and to the IUPAC; however, these organizations haven’t decided on what the new names will be yet. He also pointed out that those at GSI agreed not to make their proposed names public before they (IUPAP and IUPAC) have completed their final deliberations.
  • Dr. Sigurd Hofmann, also pointed out that there are no “practical” applications for Elements 110, 111, and 112, as such; however, “the elements may be used in other experiments, for instance, traps, investigation of chemical behavior, laser excitations, etc. Half-life and cross-sections determine what these applications will be.”
  • He added that, Elements 110, 111, and 112 are synthetics. When more is learned about their lifetimes and predictions about the stability of the properties of these elements can be determined; “new searches in nature will take place, if the half-lives for so far unknown isotopes will turn out to be long enough.”
  • Dr. Hofmann continued by writing that the previous names for elements 104-109, respectively (unnilquadium, unnilpentium, unnilhexium, unniseptium unniloctium, and unnilennium) were changed because they were too complicated to remember and so unacceptable by both professional scientists and non-professionals alike. He went on to say that the discoverers of the elements “should have a right to name them. That’s an old tradition. It makes the naming more ‘colorful.’ ”

Name in other languages:

French: ununbium

German: Ununbium

Italian: ununbio

Spanish: ununbio

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.