GEEK ALERT - It is official!
I love working at this place, we get credit for discovering an element that only 35 molocules existed for (gasp) 60ms...
Livermorium (formerly ununhexium) is the synthetic superheavy element with the symbol Lv (formerly Uuh) and atomic number 116. The name was adopted by IUPAC on May 31, 2012.
It is placed as the heaviest member of group 16 (VIA) although a sufficiently stable isotope is not known at this time to allow chemical experiments to confirm its position as a heavier homologue to polonium.
It was first detected in 2000 and since the discovery, about 35 atoms of livermorium have been produced, either directly or as a decay product of ununoctium, and are associated with decays from the four neighbouring isotopes with masses 290–293. The most stable isotope to date is livermorium-293 with a half-life of ~60 ms.
On July 19, 2000, scientists at Dubna (JINR) detected a single decay from an atom of livermorium following the irradiation of a Cm-248 target with Ca-48 ions. The results were published in December 2000. This 10.54 MeV alpha-emitting activity was originally assigned to 292Lv due to the correlation of the daughter to previously assigned 288Fl. That assignment was later altered to 289Fl, and hence this activity was correspondingly changed to 293Lv. Two further atoms were reported by the institute during their second experiment between April–May 2001.
In the same experiment they also detected a decay chain which corresponded to the first observed decay of flerovium and assigned to 289Fl. This activity has not been observed again in a repeat of the same reaction. However, its detection in this series of experiments indicates the possibility of the decay of an isomer of livermorium, namely 293bLv, or a rare decay branch of the already discovered isomer,293aLv, in which the first alpha particle was missed. Further research is required to positively assign this activity.
The team repeated the experiment in April–May 2005 and detected 8 atoms of livermorium. The measured decay data confirmed the assignment of the discovery isotope as 293Lv. In this run, the team also observed 292Lv in the 4n channel for the first time.
In May 2009, the Joint Working Party reported on the discovery of copernicium and acknowledged the discovery of the isotope 283Cn. This implied the de facto discovery of livermorium, as 291Lv (see below), from the acknowledgment of the data relating to the granddaughter 283Cn, although the actual discovery experiment may be determined as that above.
In 2011, the IUPAC evaluated the Dubna team results and accepted them as a reliable identification of element 116.
Livermorium is historically known as eka-polonium. Ununhexium (Uuh) was the temporary IUPAC systematic element name. Scientists usually refer to the element simply as element 116 (or E116). According to IUPAC recommendations, the discoverer(s) of a new element has the right to suggest a name.
The discovery of livermorium was recognized by JWG of IUPAC on 1 June 2011, along with that of flerovium. According to the vice-director of JINR, the Dubna team wanted to name element 116 moscovium, after the Moscow Oblast in which Dubna is located. However, the name livermorium and the symbol Lv were adopted on May 31, 2012 after an approval process by the IUPAC. The name recognises the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, within the city of Livermore, California, USA, which collaborated with JINR on the discovery. The city in turn is named after the American rancher Robert Livermore, a naturalized Mexican citizen of English birth.