Copernicium (Cn)


  • Symbol: Cn
  • Atomic Number: 112
  • Atomic Weight: [285]
  • Element Classification: Transition Metal, though it exhibits properties of a noble gas
  • Discovered By: Society for Heavy Ion Research (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany
  • Discovery Date: 1996
  • Name Origin: Named after Nicolaus Copernicus, the Renaissance astronomer who proposed the heliocentric model of the solar system
  • Density(g/cc): Estimated to be around 23.7 (predicted)
  • Melting Point: Unknown; estimated to be around room temperature, making it possibly a gas or volatile liquid at room temperature
  • Boiling Point: 357°C (estimated)
  • Appearance: Metallic; actual appearance is unknown due to its extreme radioactivity and the minute amounts produced
  • Atomic Radius(pm): Estimated


Copernicium was discovered in 1996 by a team led by Sigurd Hofmann at the Society for Heavy Ion Research (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany. The team produced copernicium by bombarding lead-208 with zinc-70 ions. The discovery added a new element to the periodic table, initially referred to by its temporary name, ununbium (Uub), until 2010 when it was officially named copernicium in honor of Nicolaus Copernicus.

Relation to Other Elements

Copernicium is located in group 12 of the periodic table, making it a transition metal. However, theoretical predictions and limited experimental observations suggest that copernicium may exhibit some properties more akin to those of noble gases, due to relativistic effects impacting its electron shell structure. This places copernicium in a unique position, straddling the characteristics of both transition metals and noble gases. Its properties are still the subject of ongoing research, and much about copernicium remains to be discovered.

Natural Occurrence

Copernicium does not occur naturally and is synthesized in particle accelerators through specific nuclear reactions.


Currently, copernicium’s applications are limited to scientific research due to its short half-life, radioactivity, and the challenges associated with producing it:

  • Scientific Research: The primary use of copernicium is in the field of scientific research, particularly in studies aimed at understanding the properties of superheavy elements. Investigations focus on copernicium’s atomic structure, chemical behavior, and potential similarities with noble gases, contributing to our knowledge of the periodic table’s limits and the behavior of elements under extreme conditions.

The discovery of copernicium has significant implications for theoretical chemistry and nuclear physics, challenging our understanding of element behavior at the far end of the periodic table. While practical applications are beyond reach at present, the ongoing study of copernicium and related superheavy elements promises to yield further insights into the fundamental principles of science.

Roentgenium (Rg)

Nihonium (Nh)