Longest Element Name



If you are a science student, you might wonder about the longest element name. From the very first grade in schools, when science studies are started, the students learn that nothing is more important than the elements mentioned on the periodic table.

Now you might be wondering what is so important about it. So let us tell you that the whole chemistry is based upon these elements mentioned in the periodic table. Other than that, we can say that the complete life on the planet is because of these elements. Now you might be wondering how this is possible. So let us tell you that it is because of the atoms and the molecules that form the huge masses.

If we track down all the atoms in the world, we will find them to belong to these few elements listed on the periodic table. Thus we can say that no matter what we encounter in this life, it will be made up of these elements. In this reticle, you will get to know the longest element name.

The longest element names

If we look at all the elements and write down their names, then the name with the highest number of alphabets and scores the title of the longest element is none other than Rutherfordium. Now this name might come a bit familiar. So let us tell you that this element was named after the famous Ernest Rutherford, who is also known for proposing the Rutherford theory.

Ernst Rutherford

Ernst Rutherford was a New Zealand born scientist. He was recognized for his extraordinary works by naming the element after him and also by awarding him the Nobel Prize.


Now you might be wondering about Rutherfordium. So let us tell you that the number of this element is 104 if you want to locate it on the periodic table. Also, if we talk about the atom number, it would be 104, whereas if we talk about the mass number, it would be 267. The symbol of the element with which it is represented is “Rf”.


The electronic configuration of the Rutherfordium is [Rn] 5f14 6d2 7s2. Now, if we move on to its chemical properties, we will know that Rutherfordium is an artificial radioactive trans-uranium element.

The applications

Now you might be wondering about the application of this element. But if we look, we will come to know that currently, there is no application of the Rutherfordium in the daily life of the public. It is just utilized for research and educational purposes.

The history of the nomenclature

The nomenclature history of the element is very diverse. We can say that the Soviets and the Americans have been at war in this matter.

The Soviet Side of Story

If we talk about the Soviet side, then we will come to know that it was in 1964 when a team of Russian researchers led by the famous George Flerov conducted research operations at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). The research facility was located in Dubna. The facility claimed the discovery of element 104 for the very first time. Also, they coined the element with the name Kurchatovium (Ku). This name was coined to honor the famous Soviet nuclear physicist Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov.

How Soviets discovered element 104

The science students might be wondering about the process by which they discovered his element. So let us walk you through the details. The team of researchers bombarded plutonium 242 with a beam containing Neon-22 ions. After the bombardments, they observed the nuclear fission reaction. The results helped them predict the presence of a new element.

The cycle of discoveries

The Russian discovery was not accepted universally, but the researchers continued the discovery, and similar processes conducted in 1966 reconfirmed the previous findings. They found rutherfordium 260. According to the scientists, the reported half-life was 0.3 seconds, but later on, this figure was changed and remained half to 0.15 seconds.

The American side of the story

Now is the time to study the American side of the story. Thus if we take a look, then we will come to know that it was actually in 1969, 3 years later, the Soviets discovered when a team of American researchers led by Albert Ghiorso worked at Californian Lawrence Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley. Although they were working to acquire a similar isotope, but they utilized a different process.

The details of the process

Now you might be wondering about the process that the Americans utilized. Thus, if we fall into the details, we will know that they used Californium with mass number 249 and atomic number 98. They bombarded the Californium with the carbon 12 and carbon 13 isotopes. As a result of these experiments, they obtained two different isotopes of element 104. The mass number of these isotopes were 257 and 258.

The process for 261 isotope

They also obtained a third isotope of the element with a mass number of 261. They obtained the third isotope by changing the bombarding isotope to oxygen 18 and the base element with Curium 248. As a result of their discoveries, they proposed the name Rutherfordium to honor Ernst Rutherford for his work.

The naming controversy

Now it is time to study the naming controversy. Thus if we fall into the details, then we will get our hands on the fact that The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), a recognized platform, named the element as Unnilquadium (Unq). In their intent, they were trying to credit both Soviet and American teams.

The finalization of Rutherfordium

Later the IUPAC recognized the work of the Americans to be more efficient because they were able to generate a large number of 257 and 258 isotopes of the element 104. They could detect the longer half-life periods and got their hands on the information regarding the decayed object of the radioactive element, which is Nobelium.

The Dubnium

It was in 1997 when the IUPAC finalized the name to Rutherfordium, but in order to credit the Dubna team, element 105 was named Dubnium.


The longest element name in the periodic table is none other than Rutherfordium the element 104. Although there were several controversies in the name, but the IUPAC finalized it in 1997 as Rutherfordium which is currently in practice.

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