Fifteen of the chemical elements are named after people, fourteen after scientists. One additional element has been proposed to be named after a scientist. Below is the the list of scientists whose names are used in chemical element names.[1] Only gadolinium and samarium occur in nature. The rest are synthetic.


The following 14 elements are named after scientists.

Scientist Element
Name Speciality Life Nationality Discovery Name Symbol Atomic no.
Johan Gadolin 1760–1852 Finnish 1886 Gadolinium Gd 64
Marie Curie
Pierre Curie
1944 Curium Cm 96
Albert Einstein 1879–1955 German-American 1952 Einsteinium Es 99
Enrico Fermi 1901–1954 Italian-American 1952 Fermium Fm 100
Dmitri Mendeleev 1834–1907 Russian 1955 Mendelevium Md 101
Alfred Nobel 1833–1896 Swedish 1957 Nobelium No 102
Ernest Lawrence 1901–1958 American 1957 Lawrencium Lr 103
Ernest Rutherford 1871–1937 New Zealand-British 1964 Rutherfordium Rf 104
Glenn T. Seaborg 1912–1999 American 1974 Seaborgium Sg 106
Niels Bohr 1885–1962 Danish 1981 Bohrium Bh 107
Lise Meitner 1878–1968 Austrian-Swedish 1982 Meitnerium Mt 109
Wilhelm Röntgen 1845–1923 German 1994 Roentgenium Rg 111
Nicolaus Copernicus 1473–1543 Polish-German 1996 Copernicium Cn 112
Georgy Flyorov 1913–1990 Russian 1998 Flerovium Fl 114

The following element is named after an engineer.

Scientist Element
Name Specialism Lifespan Nationality Discovery Name Symbol Atomic no.
Vasili Samarsky-Bykhovets[Note 1] 1803–1870 Russian 1879 Samarium Sm 62

The following element is proposed to be named for a scientist and is currently undergoing a period of public comment.[2]

Scientist Element
Name Specialism Life Nationality Discovery Name Symbol Atomic no.
Yuri Oganessian 1933– Russian 2002 Oganesson Og 118

See also


  1. ^ A mining engineer


  1. ^ Kevin A. Boudreaux. "Derivations of the Names and Symbols of the Elements". Angelo State University.
  2. ^ "IUPAC Is Naming The Four New Elements Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine, And Oganesson". IUPAC. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-06-08.

Template:Chemical elements named after scientists