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Which Elements Are Named for Places?

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The element copper is named for Cyprus.

The element copper is named for Cyprus.

Jon Zander

Question: Which Elements Are Named for Places?

Answer: This is an alphabetical list of element toponyms or elements named for places or regions. Ytterby in Sweden has given its name to four elements: Erbium, Terbium, Ytterbium and Yttrium.

 

  • Americium – America, the Americas
  • Berkelium – University of California at Berkeley
  • Californium – State of California and University of California at Berkeley
  • Copper - probably named for Cyprus
  • Darmstadtium – Darmstadt, Germany
  • Dubnium – Dubna, Russia
  • Erbium – Ytterby, a town in Sweden
  • Europium – Europe
  • Francium – France
  • Gallium – Gallia, Latin for France. Also named for Lecoq de Boisbaudran, the element's discoverer (Lecoq in Latin is gallus)
  • Germanium – Germany
  • Hafnium – Hafnia, Latin for Copenhagen
  • Hassium – Hesse, Germany
  • Holmium – Holmia, Latin for Stockholm
  • Lutetium – Lutecia, ancient name for Paris
  • Magnesium – Magnesia prefecture in Thessaly, Greece
  • Polonium – Poland
  • Rhenium – Rhenus, Latin for Rhine, a German province
  • Ruthenium – Ruthenia, Latin for Russia
  • Scandium – Scandia, Latin for Scandinavia
  • Strontium – Strontian, a town in Scotland
  • Terbium – Ytterby, Sweden
  • Thulium – Thule, a mythical island in the far north (Scandinavia?)
  • Ytterbium – Ytterby, Sweden
  • Yttrium – Ytterby, Sweden

 

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