Chemical Poems: Ununennium

Chemical Poems: Ununennium

Author: Mario Markus

To date, 118 chemical elements have been found. Professor Mario Markus, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany, takes a look at each element, presenting a poem based on its natural properties along with a scientific overview of each element.

All 118 poems – as well as some poems about elements that only exist in theoretical simulations – are published in the book Chemical Poems: One On Each Element by Mario Markus. ChemViews Magazine publishes a selection of these poems.




As yet undiscovered element. It is assumed that one could find its traces in meteorites. Calculations show that it would be radioactive and a liquid metal at room temperature. Its chemical reactivity would be greater than that of cesium and francium: it would react violently with water and explode in the air. It would combine with gold, similarly to cesium, forming aurides, i.e., gold salts. If discovered, it would disintegrate, through emission of alpha particles, one after another to the elements 117, 115, and 113.

To obtain this element, it is being planned to shoot krypton at bismuth, rubidium at lead, or calcium at strontium [1].

[1] R. W. Lougheed et al., Phys. Rev. C 1985, 32, 1760–1763.


head of physics lab
seeks young companion,
metallic, liquid,

The companion
would arrive
hysterical …

… and
would calm down
with gold.


Professor Mario Markus, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany.


Mario Markus Chemical Poems; one On Each ElementChemical Poems – One On Each Element,

Mario Markus,

Dos Madres Press 2013.

ISBN: 978-1-933675-98-5

Perfectbound, 308 pages, English, $30


Interview with Mario Markus:  Poetry and Chemistry,
ChemistryViews 2013.

The poems have also been published in German in:


See all poems published so far by ChemistryViews.



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