Streams

Elemental Design

Friday, April 23, 2010

Popular Science columnist and element collector Theodore Gray talks about the latest entry on the periodic table and more from his book, The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe.

Visit The Elements website and play "spell with the elements." 

What do you think we should call the new element 117, temporarily called Ununseptium? Propose a name!

Comments [46]

tsarstepan from Astoria, NY

Why not Colbertrium?

Apr. 25 2010 08:30 PM
Physicist

No, space travel should not yield natural elements that don't exist here. The stable elements have all been found. These new things are all unstable. We may find more unstable elements out in the cosmos (still doubtful), but by "natural" you pretty much mean stable.

Apr. 23 2010 07:02 PM
tom from uws

Question:
Will space travel yield "natural" elements that exist outside our planet? Have any been identified yet?

Apr. 23 2010 12:11 PM
Sumitra Shah from NYC

Aquanium! It has the "q" the guest speaker wanted in the name. Also, it has a lovely sound and I have personal reasons for liking it.

Apr. 23 2010 12:05 PM
Daniel

>>"Physics" suggests that electrons follow Newton's Laws. It is actually Quantum Chemistry in terms of the behavior of atoms and the way they bond.<<

Huh? But quantum chemistry is the application of quantum physics to that last electron. That's where the "quantum" comes from.

I prefer to say that chemistry is very-low-energy physics.

Apr. 23 2010 12:04 PM
Mike C. from Tribeca

mozo -- Agreed.

Apr. 23 2010 12:03 PM
tom from uws

I liked Rebecca's suggestion for "love" - but which kind of love do we go with?
If it's romantic, then return to Greek and call it
Erosium

If love for mankind,
Agapeum

but if this element is useless and frivolous, I'd say
Sillium.
or as suggested by another post, using Q,
Quixotium

Apr. 23 2010 12:03 PM

Typical. The final comment on the science segment of this show comes from a junk science/New Age wacko. Speaks volumes regarding education in the US.

Apr. 23 2010 12:02 PM
lou Pinto from TEANECK NJ

my 14 year found/bought your "mad science" book. he loved it. It has motivated him to study chemistry and other sciences.... THANKS!

Apr. 23 2010 12:01 PM
LM

Rebecca .. outside the US .. eg.g. UK & Australia.. Aluminum is actually spelt Aluminium

Apr. 23 2010 12:00 PM
Yiorgo from Astoria

Ekatodekaftanium.

This means 117 in greek.
Also one of the benefits of being bilingual.
naming elements.

Apr. 23 2010 12:00 PM
DrBobDrake from Bronx

"...I remind you that chemistry is NOTHING BUT the PHYSICS of the OUTERMOST ELECTRON!"

"Physics" suggests that electrons follow Newton's Laws. It is actually Quantum Chemistry in terms of the behavior of atoms and the way they bond.

Apr. 23 2010 11:59 AM
john from nyc

117 is the Id number of the main character of the popular video game Halo.
His class was called Spartans.
so either Haloium or Spartanium

Apr. 23 2010 11:59 AM
G. Rech

Quirkium for the odd behaviors of those elements (and it starts with Q, or Brevitinium for its brief existence.

Apr. 23 2010 11:57 AM
Daniel

Voter, that's just the ancient Greek prefix + ium for 117.

Apr. 23 2010 11:57 AM
Estelle from Austin

Quixotium ... Which brings me to the question: Is there any anticipated use for this element? Is utility even the goal in this seemingly endless effort to come up with new ones?

Apr. 23 2010 11:57 AM
Matt from UWS

How about jujubeeium?
Googliniam?

Apr. 23 2010 11:56 AM
mia from Astoria, NY

I learned nothing in high school chemistry and going into theater didn't help peak my interest. Now I live with an electro-chemist and decided it was time to learn so I'm following along with this website: clearscience.tumblr.com

and of course the element should be called BrianLehrerium

Apr. 23 2010 11:56 AM
Ryan from Brooklyn, NY

Eyjafjallajokullium

Or just "jafjallajokullium"

In honor of the Icelandic volcano which stopped the work

Apr. 23 2010 11:56 AM
Rebecca from Manhattan

Aluminum ends with just -um

Apr. 23 2010 11:56 AM
karen from nj

Since Einstein was a professor at Princeton and New Jersey has an inferiority complex and the guest wants a 'J' name, I propose "Jersium"

Apr. 23 2010 11:56 AM
tom from uws

Quizzium

Apr. 23 2010 11:55 AM
Andy

why not just Qununseptium?

Apr. 23 2010 11:55 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Daniel,
What does that mean? I was thinking Centumseptendecim, but I’m not really sure how to say 117 in Latin. However, I agree it should have something to do with its characteristics.

Apr. 23 2010 11:54 AM
Jon from NYC

After hearing suggestions that make as much sense as "W" for representing Tungsten, let's call it "Froonium", symbolize it with "J", and call it an element...

Apr. 23 2010 11:54 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

Bobdylanium, because the times they are a'changin'.

Apr. 23 2010 11:54 AM
Jeff from East Village

Colbertium (silent T) for Steven Colbert. He's had a spider named after him and lots of other things, so why not an element?

Apr. 23 2010 11:53 AM
Cynthia from long island

or Russamerium.

Apr. 23 2010 11:53 AM
Joe from Englewood, NJ

Should one say these new elements were invented and not discovered? They very well may have never existed before our particle accelerators created them.

Apr. 23 2010 11:53 AM
Ryan from Bushwick

Russian and American joint finding?

Peristroikum

:)

Apr. 23 2010 11:53 AM
michelle from manhattan

quantanium--b/c it starts with q

jointanium (b/c you just said that it was a joint u.s./russian discovery)

Apr. 23 2010 11:52 AM
Jeff from East Village

Colbertium (silent T) for Steven Colbert. He's had a spider named after him and lots of other things, so why not an element?

Apr. 23 2010 11:52 AM
Cynthia

Amerussium

Apr. 23 2010 11:52 AM
David from Upper West Side

I propose: Onesixteenium.

Just to mess with people.

Apr. 23 2010 11:51 AM
Linda from NJ

Jolium or Jolieum for the Curie's son-in-law and daughter.

Apr. 23 2010 11:51 AM
tom from uws

Jimnasium

But tell us something about this element - what are its characteristics?

Apr. 23 2010 11:51 AM
Derek from 42nd & Lex

a good name is Oneseventeenium

Apr. 23 2010 11:50 AM
John from nyc

Note: "Breaking Bad" uses the elements in their title crawl.

Apr. 23 2010 11:50 AM
Frans from Manhattan

Kilgorium, or Troutium, or maybe just Vonnegut. It's about time he gets some credit from the scientific community for humanizing their studies in such a sensitive, humorous, wry way.

Apr. 23 2010 11:50 AM
Daniel

hectoheptakaidecium

Apr. 23 2010 11:49 AM
Kevin from brooklyn

How about Obamite?

Apr. 23 2010 11:49 AM
Diana from UWS

Obamium

Apr. 23 2010 11:49 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Not sure the point of the exercise, but why not after the founder or founders… I mean, isn’t Helium named after the god Helios?
We have Rutherfordium, Copernicium, Lawrencium, Einstienium, Europium, and Americium

Apr. 23 2010 11:48 AM
Matt from UWS

Brian -- last segment you called the periodical table "chemistry, not physics."
Ugh! That reminded me of a wonderful conversation I had with a theoretical physics professor back in college. I was extolling how fascinating the science of chemistry is and he snickered and remarked: "Need I remind you that chemistry is NOTHING BUT the PHYSICS of the OUTERMOST ELECTRON!"

:)

Apr. 23 2010 11:41 AM
Matt from Manhattan

It's not even a question.
Element 117 must be called "Unobtanium" (in deference to NASA and popularized by Avatar)!!!

Apr. 23 2010 11:35 AM
Jon from NYC

Ununseptium will do fine for now, and eka-astatine makes for a happy reto-physicist. But if you really want to make a radical change, choose a name which puts the letter "J" on the periodic table.

Apr. 23 2010 11:05 AM

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