The time has finally come. Sporcle has updated all of our science quizzes, including the classic Periodic Table, to honor and welcome two new elemental friends. Elements 114 and 116 have officially become flerovium and livermorium. The symbols for the new elements are Fl and Lv. Flerovium is named after the Russian physicist Georgy Flyorov, for whom the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions is named. On the other hand, Livermorium is named after the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where much of this research is done. The Lawrence Livermore national lab already has the element lawrencium named after it, whereas Livermore is actually the name of the town. This is the first time in a long time that there has been a gap in the periodic table, as neither elements 113 nor 115 have yet been synthesized and reconfirmed. Of course, this just means we could yet have a Sporclium in the periodic table.
For those of you who are wondering just how an element is names, it goes like this: First a set of researchers (either in Germany, the US or Russia) creates a new element. Then, another set of researchers must recreate this experiment to confirm the results. The original group then has the right to name the element. They suggest a name to IUPAC (the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) who meets to see if they agree with the suggestions. Then after a period of 6 months, if no one has any complaints, the names are officially adopted. For even more info, here’s the official press release.