Copernicium or Ununbium Basic Facts
Atomic Number: 112
Atomic Weight: 277
Discovery: Hofmann, Ninov et al. GSI-Germany 1996
Electron Configuration: Rn 5f14 6d10 7s2
Name Origin: Named for Nicolaus Copernicus, who proposed the heliocentric solar system. The discoverers of copernicum wanted the element's name to honor a famous scientist who did not get much recognition during his own liferime. Also, Hofmann and his team wished to honor the importance of nuclear chemistry to other scientific fields, such as astrophysics.
Properties: The chemistry of copernicum is expected to be similar to that of the elements zinc, cadmium, and mercury. In contrast to the lighter elements, element 112 decays after a fraction of a thousandth of a second by emitting alpha particles to first become an isotope of element 110 with atomic mass 273, and then an isotope of hassium with atomic mass 269. The decay chain has been followed for three more alpha-decays to fermium.
Sources: Element 112 was produced by fusing (melting together) a zinc atom with a lead atom. The zinc atom was accelerated to high energies by a heavy ion accelerator and directed onto a lead target.
Element Classification: Transition Metal
References: Los Alamos National Laboratory (2001), Crescent Chemical Company (2001), Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (1952), CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics (18th Ed.)
Periodic Table of the Elements