The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) recommended new proposed names for elements 114 and 116. In June 2011, the IUPAC officially accepted both elements as the heaviest elements, more than 10 years after scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), Dubna, Russia, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA, USA, discovered them.The names were submitted by the institutes in late October. They will not be official until about five months from now when the public comment period is over.
Flerovium (Fl) was chosen to honor Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions (FLNR), Dubna, Russia, where superheavy elements, including element 114, were synthesized. Georgiy N. Flerov (1913–1990) was a renowned physicist who discovered the spontaneous fission of uranium and was a pioneer in heavy-ion physics.
Livermorium (Lv) was chosen to honor Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the city of Livermore. A group of researchers from the Laboratory, along with scientists at FLNR, participated in the work carried out in Dubna on the synthesis of superheavy elements, including element 116. Lawrencium – Element 103 – was already named for LLNL’s founder E. O. Lawrence.
The creation of elements 116 and 114 involved smashing calcium ions with 20 protons each into a curium target with 96 protons to create element 116. Element 116 decayed almost immediately into element 114. The scientists also created element 114 separately by replacing curium with a plutonium target with 94 protons.
The creation of elements 114 and 116 generate hope that the team is on its way to the “island of stability,” an area of the periodic table in which new heavy elements would be stable or last long enough for applications to be found.