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What is Moscovium

Moscovium (pronunciation: moss-KO-vee-um) is a synthetic [1], highly radioactive metal [2] that probably belongs to the post-transition metal family [3], represented by the chemical symbol Mc [4]. It has 4 isotopes, the most stable one being Moscovium-289 with a half-life period of 220 milliseconds [4, 5]. It undergoes radioactive disintegration through α decay to form nihonium-285 [4].

Moscovium Symbol


Origin of its Name: Its name is derived from the Russian capital Moscow, where the JINR (Joint Institute of Nuclear Research) is located [2].

Who discovered it: A team of researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the USA, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA, and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Russia, headed by the nuclear physicist Yuri Tsolakovich Oganessian [2].

How was Moscovium discovered

In a sequence of experiments carried out between 14th July 2003 and 10th August 2003 by the scientists from the ORNL, JINR, and LLNL at the JINR in Moscow, americium-243 atoms were bombarded with calcium-48 ions using a cyclotron [4]. On 2nd February 2004, the team of researchers announced the creation of the chemical element 115 [4], giving it a placeholder name Ununpentium with the symbol Uup [1].

The IUPAC acknowledged the discovery of the new chemical element in 2015 [2] and accepted the name Moscovium in 2016 [1].

Classification and Position of Moscovium on the Periodic Table

Group 15 [2]
Group Name Pnictogen [4]
Period 7 [2]
Block p [2]

Location of Moscovium in the Periodic Table

Properties and Characteristics of Moscovium

General Properties

Relative atomic mass 289 [2]
CAS number 54085-64-2 [2]

Physical Properties

Melting point/freezing point Unknown [2]
Boiling point Unknown [2]
Density Unknown [2]
State of matter at room temperature (solid/liquid/gas) Solid (expected) [2, 4]
Hardness (Brinell, Mohs, Vickers) Unknown [7, 8]
Electrical conductivity Unknown [8]
Thermal (heat) conductivity Unknown [8]
Specific heat Unknown [2]
Bulk modulus Unknown [2]
Shear modulus Unknown [2]
Young’s modulus Unknown [2]
Vapor pressure
Temperature (K) 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400
Pressure (Pa)

Chemical Properties

Flammability Unknown
Oxidation state/Oxidation number [+1], [+3] [2]

Atomic Data of Moscovium

Atomic number 115 [2, 4]
Valence electrons Unknown [8]
Quantum numbers 4s3/2 (expected) [8]
Electron configuration (noble gas configuration) [Rn] 5f146d107s27p3 [2]
Atomic structure
– Number of electrons 115 [6]
– Number of neutrons 174 [6]
– Number of protons 115 [6]
Radius of Atom
– Atomic radius Unknown [2]
– Covalent radius 1.62 Å [2]
Electronegativity (Pauling-scale) Unknown [2]
Electron affinity Unknown [2]
Ionization energy (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th


What can Moscovium be used for

Since Moscovium does not occur naturally and has been produced in limited amounts, the element is currently used only for research [2, 4]. Nihonium, the element created after the radioactive decay of Moscovium, also has no uses except in scientific studies [9].

Interesting Facts

  • The placeholder name Ununpentium, meaning one-one-five in Latin, indicates the element’s atomic number 115 [1].
  • In 1989, the “mysterious element 115” was claimed by the Area 51 whistleblower Bob Lazar to have been used as a source of power in the UFOs and spaceships that he believed were possessed by the US government. Naturally, his claims were considered absurd [10].



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