element: Official Symbols and Names for the Elements
Official Symbols and Names for the Elements
Each element is assigned an official symbol by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). For example, the symbol for carbon is C, and the symbol for silver is Ag [Lat.
Many isotopes were given special names and symbols when they were first discovered in natural radioactive decay series (e.g., uranium-235 was called actinouranium and represented by the symbol AcU). This practice is discouraged in the modern nomenclature except in the case of hydrogen. The isotopes hydrogen-2 and hydrogen-3 are usually called deuterium and tritium, respectively. Hydrogen-1, the most abundant isotope, has the name protium but is usually simply called hydrogen. Newly discovered elements that have been synthesized by one laboratory and not yet confirmed by a second are given a provisional name based on Greek and Latin roots; when the discovery is confirmed, the laboratory that first made it may suggest a name for the element.
Sections in this article:
- Discovery of the Elements
- Evolution of Modern Concepts
- Greek Concept of the Elements
- The Elements through the Ages
- Official Symbols and Names for the Elements
- Properties of the Elements
- Atomic Mass and Atomic Weight
- Atomic Number and Mass Number
- The Atom
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