A substance that can’t be broken down into basic material by conventional chemical processes is called an element. Elements are the fundamental materials that make up all matter.
In the modern periodic table, 118 elements are popularly known to humanity, out of which 24 are prepared synthetically, and the rest of them take place naturally.
Their discoveries differ from time to time as some were found in the early eras, and some were recently found.
All the 118 elements discovered until 2019 have officially been given unique permanent names and symbols adhering to the guidelines of IUPAC nomenclature of elements; therefore, systematic names and symbols are only used for undiscovered elements beyond the current 118 elements.
The IUPAC nomenclature technique is a set of practical statutes formulated and used by organic chemists to evade difficulties induced by irregular nomenclature. Comprehending these rules and given a structural formula, a person should be prepared to write a unique name for each distinct compound.
When a new element is discovered, the discoverer usually suggests a name that conforms to IUPAC guidelines, which is then approved according to public opinion. In the meantime, the new element will be given a temporary name formed following the IUPAC rules until the new name is recognised by IUPAC.
The official name would most likely indicate the country or the state where the element was discovered, or it might pay tribute to a remarkable scientist.
To avoid long and tiring names in everyday conversation, the official naming suggestions by IUPAC aren’t always obeyed, except for maybe when a compound has to be given a detailed and absolute definition. But sometimes, IUPAC names can also be easier and better sounding than older names. For instance – ethanol, instead of ethyl alcohol.
How were the elements assigned names?
Plenty of these elements already have their assigned names and symbols, but some of them are not commonly used across the globe. Some of these elements have also been assigned two names/symbols. For instance, an element having the atomic number 107, named Nielsbohrium (Ns) and Bohrium (Bh).
The discoverer’s right to suggest other names to the commission after the new element’s discovery has been established is not taken away because of the systematic nomenclature put in place.
To eradicate these issues, the IUPAC formed an Inorganic Chemistry Nomenclature Commission (CNIC) to assign a unique naming system to elements holding Z> 100 (also known as superheavy elements).
In 1997, after dialogues with scientists around the world, IUPAC decided on the official names for elements with ordinal numbers 104-110 and proposed a system of nomenclature for these elements.
The commission determined that elements must be named methodically according to the following rules:
- Element names must be short, and the element name must be related to its atomic number, by putting the following numerical roots to use-
0 = nil (n)
1 = un (u)
2 = bi (b)
3 = tri (t)
4 = quad (q)
5 = pent (p)
6 = hex (h)
7 = sept (s)
8 = oct (o)
9 = enn (e)
- Regardless of whether it is an element with the atomic number 100 or higher, metallic or non-metallic, its name must end in “ism”.
- In the systematic nomenclature of the elements with the ordinal number 100, the symbols of the elements must consist of three letters.
- The symbol must be derived from the ordinal numbers of the element and visually linked to the name.
For instance, let’s discover the name of an element with atomic number 120:
Code for 1 is un
Code for 2 is bi
Code for 0 is nil
Therefore, the element’s name with atomic number 120 is un bi nil ium (the ending code), that is, unbinilium.
How are the nomenclature symbols written?
- Names can be inscribed directly from atomic numbers by writing numeric roots of the needed number beginning with the number 09 and then putting in the suffix ‘ium’. A mixture of Latin and Greek roots is utilised so that the symbol is not duplicated.
- Sometimes, the names of the elements are minimised. For instance, bi ium can easily be written as bium.
- The symbol for an element can be specified by writing the roots of all numbers in the atomic number of that element and adding the suffix “ium”.
- The format of the IUPAC’s name of the compound can be inscribed as Locant Prefix Root Locant Suffix.
Elements from atomic numbers (Z) from 101 to 103 maintain trivial names. Additionally, they also have even two-letter symbols that IUPAC recognises. The chemical element with an atomic number over 100 is known as the super-heavy element.
Why is chemical nomenclature important?
The major objective of chemical nomenclature is to guarantee that a verbal or written chemical name leaves no vagueness as to which chemical compound the name refers to; each chemical name must indicate a single substance.
The nomenclature name is also meant to indicate some sort of knowledge about the chemistry of the structure of a compound.
There is no sole accurate form of chemical nomenclature as it mostly counts on the type of audience which is being addressed, but there do exist several forms that are appropriate for particular situations.
Also, ensuring that each substance has a distinctive name is a little less important. (although in some cases, a limited number of alternative names are accepted).
IUPAC Nomenclature of Elements
|Atomic Number||Name||Symbol||IUPAC NAME||IUPAC SYMBOL|
From all the information above, we can understand that the IUPAC Nomenclature is a systematic form of rules that overall works for the convenience of naming elements, compounds and discoveries.
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