After 13 Years, New Element Gets Name: Copernicium

Physicists dedicate element 112 to the father of the heliocentric solar system
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 2:35 PM CDT
The painting, "Astronomer Copernicus : Conversation with God" by Jan Matejko (1872) is seen in this undated file photo.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – The scientists who discovered the newest element want to name it “copernicium” to honor Nicolaus Copernicus, the astronomer who proposed the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the BBC reports. Element 112 was discovered in fusion experiments 13 years ago and added to the periodic table a few weeks ago.

“The idea was to go backwards, to honor someone who was not greatly honored in his lifetime," researcher Sigurd Hoffman told Popular Science. Barring any unforeseen objections, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry will endorse the name after a 6-month discussion period.
(Read more periodic table stories.)