Meitnerium, element 109, was first synthesized in 1982 at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (Institute for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt, Germany. The discoverers proposed the name in honor of Austrian physicist Lise Meitner (1878-1968), one of the co-discoverers of nuclear fission in 1938. The name meitnerium has been in English use since at least 1992, and was declared the element’s official name by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 1997.1

The chemical symbol for meitnerium is Mt.

1Oxford English Dictionary, meitnerium, 3rd Edition, June 2001, Oxford University Press, accessed 5 December 2009,

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