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Copernicium (pronounced as kogh-per-NEE-see-em), previously known as ununbium, is a synthetic element, denoted by the symbol Cn [1, 3].

Copernicium Symbol


Who discovered it

On February 9, 1996, German scientists Sigurd Hofmann, Peter Armbruster, Gottfried Münzenbe, and Bulgarian researcher Victor Ninov produced copernicium at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. Copernicium- 277, an isotope with a half-life of 0.24 milliseconds, was synthesized by bombarding Lead-208 with Zinc-70 using a linear accelerator.

Although several attempts were made to generate other isotopes, isotope-285, a decay product of flerovium, was found to be the most stable with a half-life of 30 seconds in a research at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), Dubna, Russia [1, 2, 3].

How did Copernicium get its name

It is named after renowned mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus who originated the solar system model that led to the introduction of the Bohr model of the atom [1, 8].

Position of Copernicium in the Periodic Table [1]

Group 12
Period 7
Block d

Location of Copernicium in the Periodic Table

Copernicium Physical Properties [1]

Relative Atomic Mass 285
Color/Appearance Unknown
Odor Unknown
Boiling Point Unknown
Melting Point Unknown
Density Unknown
State at Room Temperature Solid (unconfirmed)
Malleability Unknown

Copernicium Chemical Characteristics [1]

Flammability Unknown
Radioactivity Highly radioactive
Oxidation Unknown

Atomic Data of Copernicium [1, 6]

Copernicium Element

Atomic Number 112
Electron Configuration [Rn] 5f14 6d10 7s2
Crystal Structure Hexagonal close packed
Atomic Structure           
– Number of Electrons 112
– Number of Neutrons 277
– Number of Protons 112
Radius of Atom  
– Atomic Radius Unknown
– Covalent Radius 1.22 Å
Electron Affinity Unknown
Electronegativity Unknown
Ionization Energy Unknown

What are the Uses of Copernicium

Copernicium is not a natural element, but can only be synthesized in the laboratory, making it useful for nothing more than scientific research [1]. The instability of the element makes it unsuitable for any use in everyday life [2, 4].

Interesting Facts

  • The symbol Cp was first recommended for the metal but was rejected as it had already been used for lutenium till 1949. So for more than a decade, it was known as element 112 [1, 2].
  • Roentgenium, Bohrium, Darmstadtium, Hassium, and Meitnerium were also discovered at the same time as Cn [2].
  • Cn is the heaviest element in existence, specifically 200 times heavier than hydrogen [2].

Copernicium Cost

As Cn has a short half-life, it is not available outside of nuclear laboratory production [7].



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