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Periodic Table Gets a New, Unnamed Element

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-many-ideas dept.

Earth 461

koavf writes "More than a decade after experiments first produced a single atom of 'super-heavy' element 112, a team of German scientists has been credited with its discovery, but it has yet to be named. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has temporarily named the element ununbium, as 'ununbi' means 'one one two' in Latin; but the team now has the task of proposing its official name." Slashdotium? Taconium? Man, I shoulda gone into science so I could have named something sweet that kids have to memorize in classes.

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It's so obvious (5, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293643)

Colbertium

Re:It's so obvious (-1, Troll)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293673)

i wish, but it'll prolly be named Obamium.

Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294099)

I have a serious question. Looking at the history of human technical achievement, why are Germans overrepresented among technical achievers? The Germans produced the first car (beating Henry Ford to the punch), co-invented calculus (with an Englishman), developed part of the foundation of quantum physics, etc.

By contrast, I see almost nothing from any African state. Africans contributed almost nothing to human technical achievement. (The father of Barack Hussein Obama is a Kenyan. In Kenya, arresting and burning supposed witches is still a common occurrence.)

Does anyone know why the Germans outperform? I define "German" to include "German Jews".

Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294263)

Maybe because the Africans had the insight to realize that technology usually does more harm than good?

Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (4, Informative)

pkluss (731808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294463)

Read "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond. He very clearly outlines why development was accelerated in some regions and not others.

Re:It's so obvious (3, Funny)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293717)

Rhymes with Barium? That'll be a boon for Tom Lehrer...

Re:It's so obvious (0, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293871)

Rhymes with Barium? That'll be a boon for Tom Lehrer...

*sigh* So you post at a natural 3, eh? Well, chill; I doubt he fears you or your arguments - especially that they seem to come from a sense of frustration.

And it's true. Mostly, atheists are talking to each other when making logical arguments against religion - mostly to provide each of us with "make the proseltyzer feel stupid so he'll leave me alone" ammo.

Most of us realize that you'll drop the imaginary friend in your own time, or maybe you won't; either way, nothing we say will change it. For that segment of us, it's to create a bullet-proof anti-preacher shield. What fun is it, for example, to be told you're going to hell if you don't have a good argument as to why hell probably doesn't exist?

That said, the majority of us aren't really looking for an argument. We know arguments happen; we're quite outnumbered in the world, and it's very hard to keep the fact that you don't actually believe in God to yourself. You know. It comes up - and nine times out of ten, when it does, you end up getting the third degree by someone who was satisfied with 'Because God made it that way' for their whole lives or the 'flavor of the month' theist who is newly converted and wants to share (read: force) her new insights with you. Initially, argument prep is self-defence, though it often migrates to preemptive defense and outright flaming.

We should be more mature than that, and in fact, most of us are. It's just that, like any group, you get the teenagers and the adults who never left high school who are so damned sure of themselves that they can't be bothered to respect the choices of others.

I try to reprimand my fellow atheists occasionally when they step out of line; responses to insane proseltyzing that includes threats of damnation don't get rebuffed, but once in a while you'll get the genuinely curious question about atheism and the vitrolic atheist auto-reponse - and I'll shoot that down every time.

Sorry, dude, I can't moderate all the 'fuck God!' posts. I'd go crazy. But I just want to let you know that most of us aren't actually like that. We're good, normal people who just happen to not believe in a deity or deities.

=Smidge=

Re:It's so obvious (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293913)

I'd think you replied to the wrong post, except you quoted the post you did reply to, so I'm just going to suggest you put the crack pipe down and go and find yourself a good psychiatrist.

Re:It's so obvious (1)

wagebo (627707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293977)

He might be refering to the fact that Obama is aka Barry Soetoro.

Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293841)

I have a serious question. Looking at the history of human technical achievement, why are Germans overrepresented among technical achievers? The Germans produced the first car (beating Henry Ford to the punch), co-invented calculus (with an Englishman), developed part of the foundation of quantum physics, etc.

By contrast, I see almost nothing from any African state. Africans contributed almost nothing to human technical achievement.

Does anyone know why the Germans outperform? I define "German" to include "German Jews".

Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293957)

Why dont you say what you really mean?

Re:Serious Question: Why do Germans outperform? (3, Funny)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294021)

Why dont you say what you really mean?

Fine, I'm a little bit better than the rest of you slackers.

Happy now?

What have the Africans ever done for us? (5, Informative)

bigdaisy (30400) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294393)

Apart from BEER, humanity itself, controlled fire, language (probably), sterilisation of food and water, the world's tallest building (a pyramid) until recently, the roots of most modern popular music genres, airmail (by homing pigeon), the pendulum, the tunnel boring machine, stone tools, knives, pigments, burial, housing, bread, plywood, cement, river boats, sutures, the aqueduct, candles, glass, the water clock, toothpaste, metal block printing, coffee, the astrolabe, the ventilator, explosive gunpowder, the cannon, handguns, cartridges, heart transplants, the CAT scanner, ....

You mean, apart for all that?

Re:It's so obvious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293849)

Mod funny, not insightful, doofheads.

Re:It's so obvious (4, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293947)

I disagree.

It is an unstable, short-lived element. I vote cowboynealium!

Re:It's so obvious (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294337)

It's really sad to think that our heritage is going to tainted by pop culture icons because of fucking Colbert sheep.

Re:It's so obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294381)

Xenium, you insensitive clod!

Re:It's so obvious (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294389)

In honor of another famous German scientist named Hofmann I propose: LSDium

Re:It's so obvious (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294439)

Colbertium

Which, fortunately, beat Xemunium. Those whacky scientist-o-logists!

Colbertium (1, Redundant)

saddino (183491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293659)

Bank on it...

Re:Colbertium (2, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293689)

Yeah, I hope they're smart enough not to have an open ballot. It would be Colbertium for sure.

Re:Colbertium (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294187)

Bear in mind that a German team might ballot Germans rather than Americans. I think Colbert has rather less mindshare East of the Atlantic. If I had to make a guess I'd plump for Emergencium, as a play on the European emergency telephone number.

Re:Colbertium (1)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294299)

Surely Mootium?

Nobody is Going to Chance a Vote (2, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293949)

We've just received word that the Oval Office has mandated the new element be called "Obamanium." That whole voting thing is so-o-o-o-o-o 2008 Democratic Republic...

RMS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293677)

If this element smells like shit, you should definitely name it RMS.

Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator (2, Funny)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293705)

Illudium [wikipedia.org]

Re:Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator (5, Insightful)

intjgeek (1379637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293743)

They should auction the right to name it off to the highest bidder. Use the proceeds for further research or donate it to charity..etc..

l'Hopital's rule... (1)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294181)

Mod parent up. That is a great idea. I was told l'Hopital didn't invent that theorem, but paid for it. The actual story [wikipedia.org] is a little more complicated, but it's the same idea.

I suppose they should reserve the right to refuse people bid's for controversial or vulgar names, but would you honestly care if it got named Gatesium or Hiltonium? I can think of millions of reasons not to care.

Best name ever (5, Funny)

splatacaster (653139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293723)

Unobtainium

Re:Best name ever (4, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293939)

Except they did, so you'd have to name it Obtainedium.

I dub thee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294373)

Stickinthemudium

Re:Best name ever (5, Funny)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294027)

Unobtainium

... also known as element 404.

Re:Best name ever (-1, Redundant)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294047)

Crap! The joke fails badly here. Please mark me redundant. Thank you.

Unobtainium! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293727)

Impervious to lava, nuclear tidal waves, and of course ultrasonic lasers.

how about (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293731)

Unobtanium

Interesting Fact (5, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293753)

The natural abbreviation for Plutonium is Pl, which was free since Platinum uses Pt. One of the discoverers, Glenn Seaborg, thought it would be funny to submit it with the abbreviation Pu. He figured the joke would be noticed and the abbreviation changed, but it never happened.

Re:Interesting Fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293923)

[citation needed]

Re:Interesting Fact (5, Informative)

leshii (960272) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294015)

^ As one article puts it, referring to information Seaborg gave in a talk: "The obvious choice for the symbol would have been Pl, but facetiously, Seaborg suggested Pu, like the words a child would exclaim, 'Pee-yoo!' when smelling something bad. Seaborg thought that he would receive a great deal of flak over that suggestion, but the naming committee accepted the symbol without a word." Clark, David L.; Hobart, David E. (2000). "Reflections on the Legacy of a Legend: Glenn T. Seaborg, 1912â"1999" (PDF). Los Alamos Science 26: 56â"61, on 57. Retrieved on 2009-02-15 http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/pubs/00818011.pdf [fas.org]

Re:Interesting Fact (4, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294119)

In the early days of nuke research, a number of physicists picked up dosages of plutonium that worried the AEC, so it instituted a program of measuring the Pu content of their urine once a year ad infinitum and monitoring for health effects. Those people refer to themselves as the IPPU Club...

rj

Re:Interesting Fact (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294195)

I'm not sure "Pl" would be such a good choice for plutonium since platinum also start with pl. What you want is something natural and unambiguous. Pu is awesome.

assuming a trend (5, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293777)

Due to the atomic number 112 I recommend Fibonaccium, after the Fibonacci sequence which adds the 2 preceding numbers to find the next in sequence.

Re:assuming a trend (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293937)

But then what will they name element 11235?

Re:assuming a trend (4, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294077)

reallyfuckingheavium

Re:assuming a trend (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294105)

Imnotcarryingityoucarryitum.

Good News Everyone! (5, Funny)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293783)

They've found the Jumbonium that I've misplaced!

Good news everybody! (0, Redundant)

Bozzio (183974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293793)

We could name it Jumbonium!

Re:Good news everybody! (1)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293903)

What about Obeseium?

Re:Good news everybody! (1)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294163)

Good News Everyone! (Score:1)
by strength_of_10_men (967050) on Thursday June 11, @09:46AM (#28293783)
They've found the Jumbonium that I've misplaced!

---

Good news everybody! (Score:2)
by Bozzio (183974) on Thursday June 11, @09:46AM (#28293793)
We could name it Jumbonium!

---

Scary...

Re:Good news everybody! (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294189)

But be careful to keep Jumbonium off the tracks.

rj

Bushonium (0, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293801)

In honor of the U.S. President who did so much to advance our respect for science.

Re:Bushonium (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294035)

Dubyum?

Re:Bushonium (1)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294179)

During Bush's administration, I would have taken that as sarcasm. But after Obama's gutting the space budget, honoring Bush's scientific enlightenment is starting to sound like a good idea.

Re:Bushonium (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294457)

During Bush's administration, I would have taken that as sarcasm. But after Obama's gutting the space budget, honoring Bush's scientific enlightenment is starting to sound like a good idea.

The problem with a space program is that, in practical terms, it just isn't really very useful, at least not at this point in time. Truthfully we're not really anywhere near technologically ready for one, anywayz. As I've written before, the contemporary space shuttle(s) are around the spacefaring equivalent of travelling on water, by putting one leg on either side of a hollow log. On water in a terrestrial environment, that's ok, (as long as you're in calm sea, which also doesn't contain sharks) but in space it doesn't work quite so well.

We need to develop better propulsion technology first, (or at least stop murdering [waterfuelcell.org] scientists who try) and we also need to realise that terraforming our own planet is going to need to come first, before we think about giving it a shot on Mars. Given the current corporate attitude, even if we had the technology, industry would start creating pollution there even while the terraforming process was underway.

I vote for Stuff.` (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293825)

Or maybe etherium.
uberium.
  SteveJobbsium.
Linuxium
novaium
or just stuff.

Old school. (5, Funny)

lanes (1484749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293831)

Upsidaisium. Or wonderflonium.

Re:Old school. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294043)

Wonderflonium! Do not bounce!

Bolognium (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293839)

Such a crappy element.

Or maybe how about Moronium

Good News Everyone! (1)

Bob Loblaw (545027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293873)

The new element will be named Jumbonion, of course.

Re:Good News Everyone! (-1, Redundant)

Megane (129182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293985)

The Redundant mods are going to be flying all over this thread today.

Just give up (4, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293961)

It's going to be something like: BankofAmericaElementium

A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (4, Interesting)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293975)

A nucleus with a half-life measured in milliseconds or smaller doesn't seem to qualify, at least in my sort of language-to-thought translator, as really as an "element". That word carries with it the connotation of actual material existence which seems incompatible with its inability to actually exist for any period of time on the human scale.

I freely admit this is a quibble, but this sort of thing bugs me. Yes, IAAP and this rant has no bearing whatsoever on the scientific merits of the research (not my field, so I'll pass on that) and is just about the naming.

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (4, Insightful)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294019)

If you want to quibble about semantics, here's one for you: an atom with a half-life.

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294141)

Oooo, that does hurt the brain.

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294247)

Sure, the atom [intel.com] is a tad underpowered, but they should be able to run half-life.

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (2, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294347)

No problem: "half life" is just the period of time that an atom has a 0.5 probability of surviving. In other words, it's directly comparable to "life expectancy" -- and you have one of those.

rj

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294437)

Heh, pwned!

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294113)

So whats the time?
Everything on the periodic tables will fade after a time.
Is it a millisecond? a full second? a year? million years?

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (5, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294211)

True. Matter and energy are transient; entropy and stupidity are eternal.

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294251)

Everything on the periodic tables will fade after a time.

As in it will decay into something else?

And what exactly will hydrogen decay into?

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (2, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294315)

Technetium, element 43, has no stable isotopes. Do you want to forbid people from referring to it as an element? That would be kind of silly. Chemists can do reactions with technetium, form compounds with it, etc.

Or if you want to arbitrarily pick some minimum half-life, what is that half-life going to be?

Re:A semantic quibble about these things (rant?) (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294477)

So how do you define an element? Half-life of one minute? What natural distinction does that represent? If you put the right nucleons together and the strong force grabs them, I'd say it quacks like an element.

rj

Cardboardium. (2, Funny)

Franklin Brauner (1034220) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293997)

The most useful element.

Re:Cardboardium. (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294139)

This way we can make a space ship out of cardboardium alloys!

all hail.... (4, Funny)

somecreepyoldguy (1255320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294001)

hypnotoadium

Unobtainium (0, Redundant)

gigowiz (242100) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294011)

Not available anywhere!

The (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294025)

"Element formerly known as ununb"i. And give it some funky symbol

Take a page from hollywood (1)

somecreepyoldguy (1255320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294059)

make it a sequel how about Oxygen2 Silicon 2.0 Plutonium 4: This Time its Personal

Geekoidium (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294089)

or maybe Farnsworthium? Herbertium?

the discovery was announced at a meeting (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294091)

in a large hall previously devoted to gymnastics

so i propose gymnasium, auditorium, or symposium

Emergentium (3, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294103)

In Europe, the general emergency call number is 112. I also like Gentoo.

Re:Emergentium (1)

SlovakWakko (1025878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294131)

You just beat me to this proposal :)

They flunked Latin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294107)

"Bi" comes from "bis", which is Latin for "twice". "Un" by itself doesn't really mean anything, but can be used as a prefix as in "undeviginti", meaning nineteen. "One" is "unus", "una" or "unum", depending on the gender. I suppose "centesimusduodecimium" would be a bit too complicated? (from "centesimus duodecimus", meaning "the hundred and twelfth")

You destroy your own argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294361)

right here...

"Un" by itself doesn't really mean anything, but can be used as a prefix

...because they are using it as a prefix

Trajanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294127)

Trajanium :

As in 112 A.D. the emperor of Rome was Trajan.
And under his rule, Roman Empire reached his maximum extent (113 A.D.)
Or will this be more suited for the next element (113), the ununtrium ?

How about "Frank"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294129)

Seriously, just imagine: "...Meitnerium, Darmstadtium, Roentgerium and... Frank"

I hate whoever renamed unununium (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294149)

Unununium was such an awesome name, why did they have to rename it something stupid like roentgenium? What does that mean anyway? Does it mean it creates rodents?

Re:I hate whoever renamed unununium (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294387)

I agree, besides, Roentgen already has units of radiation named after him. "How many Roentgens were generated with the decay of your Roentgenium?" Blah.

ignotium (1)

elrick_the_brave (160509) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294161)

From the root Latin word:

ignotus : unknown, obscure, ignorant, ignoble

I'd say... (1)

El_Servas (672868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294165)

Servasium...

Damn.. there goes my karma. T_T

unnameium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294167)

Well, it is unnamed, right?

guantuelv (1)

surkum (664630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294183)

How about guantuelv, easy to remember :)

Once the news reaches Harvard... (5, Funny)

W2IRT (679526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294215)

Lehrerium!

In light of its size (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294219)

Lipidium

ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294277)

Name it Hypnotodium

Has nobody considered... (-1, Redundant)

NetRanger (5584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294287)

Cowboynealium?

It's about time... (1)

sagematt (1251956) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294309)

Goatsecxium

Ununbium (1)

mr_stark (242856) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294333)

All the heavy unstable elements already have names derived from their atomic mass, so 112 would be Ununbium

Its also slap bang in the middle of the island of stability [wikipedia.org] most heavy elements are too unstable to last before they decay into smaller elements. 112 Has a half life of 29 seconds, which isnt too bad considering 115 has a half life of 88ms.

elem 112 (5, Funny)

Mysund (60792) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294371)

Hundredandtwelvium

Ubuntium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294435)

...since it's heavy.

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