Bohrium, element 107, is named for Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885–1962). The element was first synthesized in 1981 at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (Institute for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt, Germany. The discoverers proposed the name nielsbohrium, but in 1997 the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) shortened it to bohrium:
However, the proposal for 107 was the subject of vigorous debate. The name nielsbohrium is long and includes the first name of Niels Bohr as well as his family name. Such an element name is without precedent. Finally it was decided to refer the matter to the Danish NAO. Its preference for bohrium rather than nielsbohrium was ultimately accepted.1
(NAO = national adhering organization, in this case the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.)
The discoverers of element 105 had also suggested the name nielsbohrium for that element, which was eventually named dubnium.
The chemical symbol for bohrium is Bh.
1”Names and Symbols of Transfermium Elements (IUPAC Recommendations 1997),” Chemistry International, 1998, Vol. 20, No. 2, p. 38, http://www.iupac.org/publications/ci/1998/march/recent.pdf.
Copyright 1997-2014, by David Wilton