Element 112, a few atoms of which were created in Germany in 1996, finally has an official name. The new name is copernicium (symbol Cp), in honor of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). “Copernicium” replaces the temporary name ununbium (un=one, un=one, bi=two for 112, symbol Uub) that element 112 has had since it was created.
It is appropriate to refer to such elements as being created rather than discovered, as they do not exist in nature. The copernicium atoms where created by smashing zinc and lead nuclei together at high speeds. The copernicium-227 atoms created by this reaction decayed by alpha decay with a half life of about 240 microseconds.
I can see chemistry students confusing the symbols for Cu (copper) and Cp (copernicium).
Grace and Peace
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