UC Berkeley press release


Chemist Glenn Seaborg finally gets his element

by Robert Sanders

Berkeley -- It's official! Element 106 will be named after chemist and Nobel Laureate Glenn T. Seaborg.

On Aug. 30 the council of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) officially adopted seaborgium as the name of element 106.

Then on Sunday, Sept. 7, at its fall meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., the American Chemical Society voted to accept seaborgium and a slate of IUPAC-approved names for the other elements between 101 and 109.

Seaborgium was one of six names proposed in February by the IUPAC Commission on Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry in its revised recommendation for elements 104-109. The list was a compromise that IUPAC hoped would please both sides in a dispute over the names of rare recently discovered "transfermium elements" -- short-lived elements created in the laboratory.

The naming of the transfermium elements has been controversial in part because of disagreements on priority for discovery of several elements.

The element names approved by both the IUPAC council and the American Chemical Society are:

  • 104 Rutherfordium
  • 105 Dubnium
  • 106 Seaborgium
  • 107 Bohrium
  • 108 Hassium
  • 109 Meitnerium

IUPAC also recommended that elements 101 (mendelevium), 102 (nobelium) and 103 (lawrencium, named at the late UC Berkeley physicist Ernest O. Lawrence) should retain their commonly accepted names.

Seaborg is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, associate director-at-large of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a 1951 Nobel Laureate in chemistry.

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