112. Copernicium - 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.

Copernicium – Kopernicium – Copernicium – Copernicio – コペルニシウム – Коперниций –
Multilingual dictionary

Copernicium Latin

— Germanic
Kopernicium Afrikaans
Kopernicium Danish
Kopernicium German
Copernicium English
Copernicium Faroese
Copernicium Frisian (West)
Ununbín Icelandic
Copernicium Luxembourgish
Copernicium Dutch
Copernicium Norwegian
Copernicium Swedish

— Italic
Copernicio Aragonese
Coperniciu Asturian
Copernici Catalan
Copernicio Spanish
Copernicium French
Copernicium Friulian
Copernicio Galician
Copernicio Italian
Unünbi Lombard
Copernici Occitan
Copernício Portuguese
Coperniciu Romanian - Moldovan

— Slavic
Унунбий [Ununbij] Bulgarian
Copernicij[um] Bosnian
Унунбій [Ununbij] Belarusian
Kopernicium Czech
Copernicij Croatian
Копернициум [Kopernicium] Macedonian
Kopernik Polish
Коперниций [Kopernicij] Russian
Copernicium Slovak
Kopernicij Slovenian
Унунбијум [Ununbijum] Serbian
Коперницій [Kopernicij] Ukrainian

— Baltic
Koperniumas Lithuanian
Copernicijs Latvian

— Celtic
Kopernisiom Breton
Koperniciwm Welsh
Coparnaiciam Gaelic (Irish)
Oonoonbium Gaelic (Manx)

— Other Indo-European
Κοπερνίκιο [] Greek
Copernicium[i] Albanian

— Indo-Iranian/Iranian
Koperniciûm Kurdish
Мейтнерий [Ununbi'] Tajik

— Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan
ইউনুনবিয়াম [iununabiẏāma] Bengali
کوپرنیسیم [] Persian
યુનુન્બિયમનો [yununbiyamano] Gujarati
उनउनबियम [ununbiyama] Hindi

Copernicium Estonian
Copernicium Finnish
Copernicium Hungarian
Коперниций [Kopernicij] Komi
Коперниций [Kopernicij] Mari
Kopernicium Võro

Kopernicium Azerbaijani
Унунби [Ununbi] Chuvash
Унунби [Ununbi] Mongolian
Koperniciyum Turkish
Koperniciy Uzbek

Other (Europe)
Copernicio Basque

ٲنون بيوم [] Arabic
Κοπερνίκιο [] Hebrew
Copernicju Maltese

コペルニシウム [koperunishiumu] Japanese
코페르니슘 [] Korean
อะนันเมียม [ananbiam] Thai
Copernici Vietnamese

Copernicyo Cebuano
Copernicium Indonesian
Copernicium Māori
Copernicium Malay

Other Asiatic
അണ്‍അണ്‍ബിയം [aṇaṇbiyam] Malayalam
யுனன்பியம் [yuṉaṉpiyam] Tamil

Coperniciu? Lingala
Coperniciamo Sesotho
Kopernici Swahili

Copernicio Nahuatl

Coperniciyu Quechua

Kopernicimi Sranan Tongo

Kopernicio Esperanto

New names
memory peg

Artificial radioactive element
melting point -- °C; -- °F
boiling point -- °C; -- °F
density -- g/cc; -- pounds/cubic foot
1994 Sigurd Hofmann and co-workers, Darmstadt, Germany
Nicolaus Copernicus

History & Etymology

First prepared in 1996 by Sigurd Hofmann, Victor Ninov, Fritz Peter Heßberger, Peter Armbruster, H. Folger, Gottfried Münzenberg, H.J. Schött (Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung, Darmstadt, Germany), Andre Georgievich Popeko, Alexander Vladimirovich Yeremin, A.N. Andreyev ( . .. / Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, FLNR - / JINR, (Dubna), Russia), S. Saro, Rudolf Janik (Katedra jadrovej fyziky, Univerzita Komenského, Bratislava, Slovakia), and Matti Leino (Fysiikan laitos, Jyväskylän Yliopisto, Finland).

The element was named Copernicium in July 2009. Formerly it was known under the systematic IUPAC name Ununbium (system explained here).

Background of the naming after Nicolaus Copernicus from Stuart Fox, Newly Discovered Element 112 Named "Copernicum", from PopSci

By choosing to honor the father of the heliocentric solar system, element 112 discovery team leader Sigurd Hofmann wanted to avoid the divisive names selected for past elements, salute an influential scientist who didn't receive any accolades in his own lifetime, and highlight the link between astronomy and Hofmann's own field of nuclear chemistry.

The idea was to go backwards, to honor someone who was not greatly honored in his lifetime," said Hofmann. "[Copernicus] had to be very careful when he was publishing his works. His book was published the day of his death. He was afraid to make his announcements during his lifetime, so he wasn't honored when he was alive."

Sticking with that theme, the team almost named the element after Galileo, but when Hofmann suggested Copernicus, everyone on the team instantly agreed.

Element 112 is the sixth element discovered by Hofmann's institution, the GSI, and the last four previously discovered elements were named after cities or states in Germany. By naming element 112 after a Polish scientist, Hofmann broke that nationalistic streak.

"After we have named elements after our city and our state, we wanted to make a statement with a name that was known to everyone," said Hofmann. "We didn't want to select someone who was a German. We were looking world wide."

Additionally, Hofmann wanted to highlight the contribution of nuclear chemistry to other fields, astrophysics in particular. Much of the most cutting edge astrophysics research deals with the formation of the universe during and shortly after the Big Bang. In particular, astrophysicists look to explain how the fundamental particles if of matter condensed into the heavy elements that make up the world as we know it. And any model regarding the creation of heavy elements rely on the research performed by scientists like Hofmann.

To that end, Hofmann bucked the trend of naming new elements after nuclear physicists like Niels Bohr, and picked a scientists who spent more time looking up at the heavens than down at the earth.

But to Hofmann himself, this is already ancient history. Notoriously unsentimental about the opportunity to carve a new name in the Stanley Cup of science, Hofmann has already put naming element 112 in the rear view mirror.

Said Hofmann, "we will wait for the IUPAC to rule on the new name, but the aim is now to look for element 120."

The symbol is Cn. There was first thought of Cp, but that has been in use for Cassiopeium, now Lutetium.


The new element 112 was produced and identified unambiguously in an experiment at SHIP, GSI Darmstadt. Two decay chains of the isotope 277112 were observed in irradiations of 208Pb targets with 70Zn projectiles of 343.8 MeV kinetic energy. The isotope decays by emission of alpha particles with a half-life of (240 +430 -90) micro seconds. Two different alpha-energies of (11,649+-20)keV and (11,454+-20) keV) were measured for the decaying nuclei. The cross section measured in three weeks of irradiation is (1.0 +1.3 -0.6) pb.

IUPAP/IUPAC Joint working party assessment: The results of this study are of characteristically high quality but there is insufficient internal redundancy to warrant conviction at this stage. Confirmation by further results is needed to assign priority of discovery to this collaboration (Karol et al., 2001, 964).

Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus (Toruń (Thorn), 19 February 1473 Frombork (Frauenburg), 24 May 1543) was the first astronomer to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology, which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.

Copernicus' epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), published just before his death in 1543, is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the scientific revolution. His heliocentric model, with the Sun at the center of the universe, demonstrated that the observed motions of celestial objects can be explained without putting Earth at rest in the center of the universe. His work stimulated further scientific investigations, becoming a landmark in the history of science that is often referred to as the Copernican Revolution.

Among the great polymaths of the Renaissance, Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, quadrilingual polyglot, classical scholar, translator, artist, Catholic cleric, jurist, governor, military leader, diplomat and economist. Among his many responsibilities, astronomy figured as little more than an avocation yet it was in that field that he made his mark upon the world. (note).

Further reading
  • S. Hofman et al., "The New Element 112." Zeitschrift für Physik A 354 (1996), 229-230. (Abstract on-line).
  • P.J. Karol, H. Nakahara, B.W. Petley, & E. Vogt, On the Discovery of the Elements 110112 (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure Appl.Chem. 73, 6 (2001), pp.959967 (PDF file on-line).
  • K. Tatsyumi & J. Corish, Name and Symbol of the Element with Atomic Number 112. IUPAC Provisional Recommendation (PDF file on-line).

Sources Index of Persons Index of Alleged Elements