The Periodic table has recently been used by Year 9 in their Science lessons and Year 10 in their Chemistry lessons. The early periodic table was developed in 1869 by the Russian scientist, Dmitri Mendeleev, who devised the table with the 60 known elements at the time. The periodic table has evolved over the last 150 years and the modern periodic table is arranged in rows in order of the atomic proton number. Currently, there are 118 known elements.
The elements in the Periodic table can be named after mythical characters or concepts (including astronomical objects), minerals, places, property of the element or a scientist. In this article we are going to look at some of the elements named after places.
The chemical symbol for copper is Cu, which derives from the metal’s Latin name, cuprum. In turn, cuprum is descended from Kyprios, the Ancient Greek name for the island of Cyprus, which was well known in antiquity for its production of copper. Some more obvious places are in the names of the elements: germanium (Germany), americium (America), californium (California) and one of the most recent elements added to the table, tennessine (Tennessee). Some less obvious elements names are ruthenium, holmium, lutetium, hafnium and polonium, which take their names from the Latin names for Russia (Ruthenia), Stockholm (Holmia), Paris (Lutetia), Copenhagen (Hafnia) and Poland (Polonia).
Can you spot anymore elements named after places?