95. Americium - Elementymology & Elements Multidict

Elementymology & Elements Multidict

This site comprises 120 pages of text and photos, one for each element, and several pages for access. – For captions or explanatory texts move your mouse over illustrations, links etc.

Americium – Amerizium – Américium – Amerício – アメリシウム – Америций – 鎇
Multilingual dictionary

Americium Latin

— Germanic
Amerikium Afrikaans
Americium Danish
Amerizium German
Americium English
Americium Faroese
Americium Frisian (West)
Ameríkín Icelandic
Amerizium Luxembourgish
Americium Dutch
Americium Norwegian
Americium Swedish

— Italic
Amerizio Aragonese
Ameritsiumu Aromanian
Americiu Asturian
Americi Catalan
Amerício Spanish
Américium French
Americi Friulian
Americio Galician
Americio Italian
Ameríci Lombard
Americi Occitan
Amerício Portuguese
Americiu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Америций [Americij] Bulgarian
Americij[um] Bosnian
Амерыцый [amerycyj] Belarusian
Americium Czech
Americij Croatian
Amerik Kashubian
Америциум [Americium] Macedonian
Ameryk Polish
Америций [Americij] Russian
Americium Slovak
Americij Slovenian
Америцијум [Americijum] Serbian
Америцій [amerycij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Americis Lithuanian
Amerīcijs Latvian
Amerėcis Samogitian

— Celtic
Amerikiom Breton
Americiwm Welsh
Aimeiriciam Gaelic (Irish)
Aimeiriciam Gaelic (Scottish)
Americium Gaelic (Manx)
Amerycanyum Cornish

— Other Indo-European
Αμερικιο [amerikio] Greek
Ամերիցիում [amerits'ium] Armenian
Americ[iumi] Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Amerikyûm Kurdish
Америций [americij] Ossetian
Америтсий [Ameritsi'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
অ্যামেরিসিয়াম [ayāmerisiẏāma] Bengali
امریسیم [amrysym] Persian
ઍમરિશિયમનો [emariṡiyamano] Gujarati
अमेरिशियम [ameriśiyama] Hindi

Ameriitsium Estonian
Amerikium Finnish
Amerícium Hungarian
Америций [Americij] Komi
Америций [Americij] Mari
Америки [ameriki] Moksha
Ameriitsium Võro

Amersium Azerbaijani
Америци [Americi] Chuvash
Америций [americij] Kazakh
Америций [Americij] Kyrgyz
Америци [americi] Mongolian
Amerikyum Turkish
ئامېرىتسىي ['ameritsiy] Uyghur
Ameritsiy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Amerizioa Basque
ამერიციუმი [americ'iumi] Georgian

أمريكيوم [amarīsiyūm] Arabic
אמריציום [ameritsium] Hebrew
Amerizjum, ²Ameriċju Maltese

Mî (鋂) Hakka
アメリシウム [amerishiumu] Japanese
아메리슘 [amerisyum] Korean
อะเมริเซียม [amērisiam] Thai
Amerixi Vietnamese
[mei2 / mei4] Chinese

Amerisyo Cebuano
Amerisium Indonesian
Americium Māori
Amerisium Malay

Other Asiatic
അമെരിസിയം [amerisiyam] Malayalam
அமெரிகியம் [amerikiyam] Tamil

Amelu Lingala
Amerikiamo Sesotho
Ameriki Swahili

Americio Nahuatl

Amerisyu Quechua

Amerikimi Sranan Tongo

Americio Esperanto

New names
Amerion Atomic Elements
Neutronium Dorseyville
memory peg

Artificial radioactive element
melting point 994 °C; 1821 °F
boiling point 2607 °C; 4725 °F
density 13.67 g/cc; 853.39 pounds/cubic foot
1944-45 Glenn T. Seaborg and co-workers, Chicago, Ill., USA
America, continent

History & Etymology

First prepared in 1944-45 by Glenn T. Seaborg (1912-1999), Ralph A. James, Leon O. (Tom) Morgan, and Albert Ghiorso at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago by irradiation of Plutonium with neutrons.

They researchers prepared the elements #95 and #96 while Plutonium was being produced in industrial proportions, in Hanford, to be used in nuclear weapons. Their labor lasted more than one year, being the difficulties so big that one of them suggested that the newly found elements should be called Pandemonium and Delirium. In spite of this, the elements were given the names Americium and Curium. About the naming, Glenn Seaborg wrote in 1994:

"Thus element 95 would be chemically similar to the lanthanide element europium (63) and element 96 would be chemically similar to gadolinium (64). Using this concept, in 1944 and 1945 we synthesized and chemically identified elements 95 and 96, by analogy with their rare earth homologues, europium (element 63) and gadolinium (element 64). The new elements were subsequently named americium (95) and curium (96)." (note)
In his autobiography, Seaborg says about the naming of Americium and Curium (note):
At a meeting of the Heavy Isotopes Group at the Metallurgical Laboratory on March 5, 1946, I suggested that 95 and 96 be named "americium" and "curium" by analogy to the naming of their lanthanide homologs "europium" and "gadolinium." It was also pointed out that the +2 state of element 96 would be "cur-ious," but I replied that this oxidation state was not expected to exist.

False transuranic elements (#93-97)

Element #95 has got in 1934-38 the preliminary name Eka-Iridium by Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann in Germany, who thought they had found traces of several transuranium elements. In December of 1938, Hahn and Strassman found out that these radioactivities were not due to transuranium elements but were due to fission products. According to the Periodic Table of that time, without the Actinide series, element #95 is below Iridium (#77). According to the present Table, Eka-Iridium would be #109.

Other name

John and Gordon Marks suggested in 1994 the name Columbium (Cb) after the New World. The Marks brothers found the old names ugly and confusing. They offered alternative names that are equivalent contemporary (at the time and place of discovery) metaphors, both more euphonious and more memorable. For Americium they suggested Columbium with the argument that Europium is named after Europe. Personally, I don't understand what they have against Americium (note).

The element is named after America, especially the United States of America. The continent is named after Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), who made some voyages to the New World, several years after the discovery by Christopher Columbus. Vespucci's letters describing the New World were published and made the continent known to European scholars. The cosmographer Martin Waldseemüller proposed therefor the name America for the new world (1506).
Vespucci's first name "Amerigo" is the early-medieval Italian form of the German name "Heinrich" (earlier: "Heimerich" from: Old German heim = "home, estate" + Old German ric = "force, power, government").

Further reading
  • Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements, comp. rev. by Henry M. Leicester (Easton, Pa.: Journal of Chemical Education, 1968), pp. 846-848.
  • Glenn T. Seaborg, Ralph A. James, & Leon O. Morgan, The New Element Americium (Atomic Number 95). DOE-report. January 1948. (Full text in PDF available on-line).
  • Earl K. Hyde & Glenn T. Seaborg, Transurane : Teil A 1, I: Die Elemente. Gmelins Handbuch der anorganische Chemie, Ergänzungswerk zur 8. Aufl.; Band 7a. Weinheim/Bergstrasse: Chemie, 1973.
  • Glenn T. Seaborg, "My Romance with the Transuranium Elements" R&D Innovator 3, 12 (Dec. 1994). (on-line)

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements