Copernicium is a synthetic chemical element with the symbol Cn and atomic number 112. Its known isotopes are extremely radioactive, and have only been created in a laboratory. It was first created in 1996 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near Darmstadt, Germany. It is named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.
In the periodic table of the elements, Copernicium is a d-block transactinide element and a group 12 element. During reactions with gold, it has been shown to be an extremely volatile substance, so much so that it is possibly a gas or a volatile liquid at standard temperature and pressure.
It has also been calculated to possibly show the oxidation state +4, while mercury shows it in only one compound of disputed existence and zinc and cadmium do not show it at all. It has also been predicted to be more difficult to oxidize copernicium from its neutral state than the other group 12 elements, and indeed copernicium is expected to be the most noble metal on the periodic table. Solid copernicium is expected to be bound mostly by dispersion forces, like the noble gases; predictions on its band structure are varied, ranging from a noble metal to a semiconductor or even an insulator.
Characteristics of Copernicium
- In the periodic table, Copernicium is a d-block transactinide element and belongs to group 12 elements.
- It is predicted to be in a gaseous state at normal temperature and pressure.
- When reacted with gold, this element showed to be an extremely volatile metal.
- Many radioactive isotopes have been created in the lab, either by observing the decay of heavier metals or by fusing two elements.
- Six different isotopes have been identified with Atomic mass numbers 277, 281 to 285.
- It does not have any stable or naturally-occurring isotopes.