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Superheavy news[edit]

One, two, three.

Collaboration between the JINR and the US labs cannot continue due to the war in Ukraine. So the LBNL in the US will be going alone. First they will try bombarding plutonium with 50Ti to try to make Lv in a new way; if that works, then they will try 249Cf+50Ti to make 120, in 2024 at the earliest.

Meanwhile RIKEN is still focused on 248Cm+51V to make 119. The GSI cannot commit enough resources until the FAIR synchrotron is finished by 2025.

I'll add this to the articles soon. Double sharp (talk) 00:42, 19 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"a" chemical element or "the" chemical element[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

An IP editor today at the Help desk pointed out that the lead of our articles are inconsistent: some say "X is a chemical element....", while others say "X is the chemical element...." (my emphasis). Although the IP editor prefers "a", I believe that the definite article is to be preferred over the indefinite article in English grammar, since X is in each case a unique member of the group of chemical elements. I seek consensus to make this change to all leads that currently use "a". I have already done sodium. Comments? Mike Turnbull (talk) 15:31, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not that sure actually, but I think that the indefinite article places more emphasis on the fact that it's a chemical element, but the definite article places more emphasis on the "with the chemical formula XX and atomic number YY" part. Any thoughts? 141Pr {contribs} 16:37, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the sentence "Potassium is a chemical element." is grammatically correct, while "Potassium is the chemical element." is clearly wrong. However, when the phrase is the first part of a definition (as in all our articles) then "the" is better, IMO. Mike Turnbull (talk) 18:07, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it depends if we want it to be specific ("the") or general ("a"). I'm not sure which to choose, but I'm leaning towards "the" as opposed to "a". 141Pr {contribs} 19:02, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Split the sentence in two, and we'd say Potassium is a chemical element; it has a symbol K and atomic number 19.. The first part states what it is, the second gives some description about what separates it from all the other things which are chemical elements. I am not in favour of using "the", rather than "a". Bazza (talk) 19:56, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Taking some examples:
  • Hydrogen is the chemical element with the symbol H and atomic number 1.
  • Helium is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2.
  • Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3.
  • Beryllium is a chemical element with the symbol Be and atomic number 4.
  • Boron is a chemical element with the symbol B and atomic number 5.
  • Carbon is a chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6.
  • Nitrogen is the chemical element with the symbol N and atomic number 7.
  • Oxygen is the chemical element with the symbol O and atomic number 8.
  • Fluorine is a chemical element with the symbol F and atomic number 9.
  • Neon is the chemical element with the symbol Ne and atomic number 10.
This tallies at "a":6; "the":4. Clearly there is some inconsistency, but I don't think that it's worth worrying about. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:36, 29 October 2023 (UTC)#Reply[reply]
If the lede sentence is NAME is A/THE chemical element with the symbol SYMBOL and atomic number NUMBER, and the sentence contains nothing more, then I favor saying … is the chemical element that…. At least in my idiolect, … is a chemical element that… leaves open the possibility that some other element also has the same symbol and atomic number. YBG (talk) 21:34, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that User:Bazza_7's proposal of separating the sentence is probably the best one, as it is more grammatical but does not confuse the reader (do other elements have atomic number of 6?) and should be standardized across the element articles. OmegaMantis (talk) 17:30, 30 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hydrogen, Deuterium and Tritium all have atomic number 1, and are chemically the same element, although physically different. I don't know of any other instances where one atomic number has more than one name. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:11, 30 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apart from obsolete terms for radioactive decay products - for example thoron is an old term for radon that has been formed by alpha decay of thorium, and there are several others with potentially confusing names that we don't use anymore - see the "Historic names" columns of Decay chain#Thorium series, Decay chain#Uranium series and Decay chain#Actinium series. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:27, 30 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, this is probably the best one. Shall I implement it? 141Pr {contribs} 19:18, 30 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm all for it. OmegaMantis (talk) 21:53, 30 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds ok to me. I’d leave the article off before symbol, so it says Potassium is a chemical element; it has symbol K and atomic number 19, wikilinking symbol and atomic number.
It might be nice to put an adjective before chemical element, if that doesn’t mess up the rest of the paragraph, but that seems a lot of work. YBG (talk) 01:45, 31 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@YBG: It already has one ("chemical"), qualifying "element". Which adjective are you proposing? Bazza (talk) 09:08, 31 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the discussion. I'm happy with any reasonable consistency and the latest proposal using a semicolon is fine. To Redrose64's point, all elements have isotopes and it just happens that we give specific names to deuterium and tritium individually owing to their importance but we also have articles on carbon-12 and carbon-13, for example. @Praseodymium-141 I suggest we wait another couple of days to see if anyone argues against the current consensus and then proceed with the changes. If you start at H and work forward, I'll start at Og and work backwards until we meet! Mike Turnbull (talk) 11:29, 31 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Bazza 7 I was thinking of a color, state of matter, (non)metallic, or something more specific. But such things are no doubt mentioned later and so this could force recasting the whole paragraph. I withdraw this unwieldy suggestion.
I am happy with the current proposal, but here is some alternatives:
I think these read a bit smoother, and the parentheses and bolding make clear that the symbol and Z are synonyms. I’m not agitating against the current proposal, just offering alternative ideas in case they jump out to someone. YBG (talk) 14:52, 31 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The first alternate proposal seems to be really good; I like how smooth it is. I'm for the first alternate proposal, but I'm also fine with the current proposal. 
The second proposal I'm not for, as the 118 known seems kind of unnecessary (I think the first sentence should probably be just about what the element is, it doesn't need to describe that there is this number of elements). Plus, when more elements are synthesized, we would have to update every single lede sentence.
OmegaMantis (talk) 16:49, 31 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with OmegaMantis. Double sharp (talk) 04:45, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I too agree with OmegaMantis, the first alt proposed by YBG is great. Polyamorph (talk) 08:00, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not keen on introducing anything before "X is a chemical element".
Whichever wording you choose, if this is to be implemented on all chemical element articles, then a template may created to (a) make implementation easier and (b) allow rapid and simple rewording should that be needed in the future. For example, {{chemical element definition|Hydrogen|Li|3|metallic}} might produce Lithium is a metallic chemical element; it has chemical symbol Li and atomic number 3. (Template parameters and initial wording subject to agreement, of course.) Bazza (talk) 09:27, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Writing the template out will be nearly or even just as long as simply writing it by hand. I get that it would be good to ensure consistency though. Polyamorph (talk) 09:32, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought that consistency was the purpose of this discussion. There is also the possibility of extracting the parameters from the article's infobox, thus simply requiring {{chemical element definition}}. as the first sentence of the article. Bazza (talk) 09:36, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I'm just not sure a template is needed for that, provided it is prescribed in the MOS, infobox templates or conversions etc. is one thing, but templating article prose I'm not sure is something we should be doing. Polyamorph (talk) 09:46, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's precedence for using templates in the lead. Bazza (talk) 09:50, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You mean {{rws}} - that's clearly not the same thing, or are you referring to a different template? Polyamorph (talk) 09:55, 1 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems like these are the two most common options:
Which one shall we use? 141Pr {contribs} 12:45, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The second option is my preference as it uses specialist subject terminology ("symbol" and "atomic number") after introducing the subject ("chemical element"). (If, however, the first option is adopted, then note that "K" and "19" should be MOS:NOTBOLD; neither are MOS:BOLD#OTHER.) Bazza (talk) 12:57, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Changed. 141Pr {contribs} 13:05, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Praseodymium-141 I think we now have sufficient consensus to start editing the articles to the version with the semicolon. I'm going to link to this discussion in my edit summaries. As I mentioned, if you start at hydrogen and work up, I'll start at Og and work down. Mike Turnbull (talk) 14:23, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK! 141Pr {contribs} 14:44, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I prefer the first option, and I believe that the symbol should be bold per MOS:BOLDALTNAMES. Although it puts the technical terms first, it is shorter by avoiding the use of the empty phrase "it has". YBG (talk) 15:22, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@YBG, @Praseodymium-141. I began to make the changes but have stopped for now until we agree this point! All element articles I've looked at do indeed bold the element symbol but there are almost no redirects that use them because, of course, the element symbol is rarely the most important topic for H, He, K or even unusual cases like Og etc. I would like to hear from @Bazza 7 again, who has consistently argued for the semicolon version. Do you accept the "empty phrase" argument? Mike Turnbull (talk) 15:36, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Michael D. Turnbull: Thanks for asking. Shortness should not be a primary concern, especially considering the small nuymber of words under discussion.
I prefer the second option because it puts the elementary (pardon the pun) definition immediately after the element's name: Xxxx is a chemical element. We could delete the rest of the sentence and still have this basic fact to satisfy MOS:FIRST.
I don't agree about the "empty phrase" bit: it's standard English use of two related phrases in a sentence separated by a semicolon: Gold is a chemical element; it's yellow and shiny and considered valuable.
If consensus is to use the first option, then that's how WP works and I will not argue further. I will, though, continue to argue that MOS:NOTBOLD explicitly states that using bold is to be avoided other than for the first occurrence of the article's title or any terms which redirect to the article. As has been already pointed out, few (if any) symbols, and no atomic numbers, are redirects to chemical element articles. Bazza (talk) 16:00, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Personally, I accept your view. I note that @Praseodymium-141 has already done all up to #86 already so as Magnus Magnusson would say "I've started, so I'll finish". If, after further discussion here we settle on something nearer @YBG's version, I'm happy to go through them all again! Also, making these changes today will have alerted many editors who have the element pages on their watchlist to the discussion, since we have been linking it in our edit summaries. Mike Turnbull (talk) 16:26, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All now done Mike Turnbull (talk) 17:19, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks folks for your work on this. I still prefer the first version but, for reasons previously stated and because it fits in with the common WP pattern used with alternate names. I would not expect that very many of the atomic symbols exist as redirects since they are just one or two letters long. MOS:BOLDALTNAMES only says they should ^usually* be redirects. The symbol is very often pipelinked to the element name, so a similar line of reasoning should apply.
Nevertheless, this is not a mole hill I would make a mountain of, much less one I would die on. Besides, despite WP:!VOTE, when only three editors participate in a discussion, the out!voted minority must be either very stubborn or very bellicose to fail to WP:DTS.
I am glad of your effort to eliminate ambiguity and bring consistency to these two articles. This is something we can all rejoice over! YBG (talk) 02:18, 13 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interestingly, the blurb for today's featured article 90377 Sedna has the same sort of ambiguity caused by "is a .... with". The article itself avoid the issue by using parentheses.

Context First sentence
TFA blurb Sedna is a trans-Neptunian object with the minor-planet number 90377.
Article Sedna (minor-planet designation 90377 Sedna) is a dwarf planet in the outermost reaches of the Solar System discovered in 2003.

YBG (talk) 05:02, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I didn't have a strong position on the wording (sentence structure, etc.) and am happy that a consistent solution seems to have been found. But I support bolding the symbol. In addition to being important synonyms for the article topic, we actually do have symbol (element) redirects and the elements are listed on the symbol (disambiguation) pages. DMacks (talk) 12:56, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@DMacks: That's a good point. Had I realised earlier than symbol (element) articles exist, I would have supported bolding the symbol in these articles (MOS:BOLDREDIRECT). Incidentally, your use of the strange {{fake link}} was very confusing; I initially thought my browser was playing up when I tried to open them in new tabs. Bazza (talk) 13:11, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I now realise that we have all the "Element n" e.g. Element 101 redirects as well! Does this mean that we should return to bolding the numbers as well as the symbols? One final sweep through would be fine if so but I'd like the inputs from @Praseodymium-141 and @YBG first, given their interest. One counterargument is that the element symbol and number (e.g. Mendelevium, 101Md) is always included and bolded in the title of the Chembox, which is different than the case for articles about non-elements, where the infobox, if present, would normally just repeat the article's title. Mike Turnbull (talk) 14:29, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I strongly favor bolding the symbol, but am ambivalent about the atomic number. The elements are included on at least some dab pages like at 19 § Science, if that sways anyone to bold both like this:
Potassium is a chemical element; it has symbol K and atomic number 19.
OTOH, bolding both makes it seem IMO even more appropriate to use the parens like this:
Potassium (symbol K, atomic number 19) is a chemical element.
Potassium (symbol K, Z=19) is a chemical element.
Or even
Potassium (K, Z=19) is a chemical element.
Yes, these put “is a chemical element” later in the sentence, but the nontechnical reader would gloss over the parenthetical much like they do for parenthesized birth and death dates or pronunciations or native language forms, all of which are technical details that come before the “is a xxx” in the lede sentence.
I suppose this post should be construed as a strong argument for bolding the symbol and a weak argument against bolding the atomic number (unless we use the parenthetical form). YBG (talk) 16:46, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Per MOS:BOLD, I don't think we should bold the atomic number. The symbol should be bolded, because it's synonymous with the element name, and the two may be substituted salva veritate with in a sentence. But that's not true of the atomic number; you can only substitute the atomic number for the symbol in the context of a nuclide symbol or chemical equation (where it could be used as a substitute symbol when the element hadn't been discovered or named), not within a sentence. Double sharp (talk) 09:20, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I took a look at the first sentence of some articles from other topic-areas that have similar situations:
So all have bold for the symbol, but each has a different grammar/construction for introducing the symbol. DMacks (talk) 05:44, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, we seem to have a new consensus that the symbol should be bolded, as in fact it was on all these articles before the latest changes. I'm going to go ahead now to do that. I suggest that this Section be closed to further comments and if anyone feels there needs to be further discussion on any aspect, this should be done in a new Section. Mike Turnbull (talk) 20:29, 17 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Weird hypothesis about superheavy elements[edit]

This is a really weird hypothesis about superheavy elements in nature, specifically concerning the conjectured second island of stability near Z=164 (rather than dark matter or strange matter) to explain ultra-dense asteroids such as 33 Polyhymnia. The associated paper is [1]; one of the authors also wrote a piece for The Conversation explaining their research. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 17:16, 3 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quite interesting! I feel like I've seen a lot of interesting info about how some transuranic elements (besides Np and Pu) might have existed in small amounts in nature in the past or currently. Maybe a Wikipedia article about scientific hypothesises about transuranic or superheavy elements in nature should be created? OmegaMantis (talk) 21:41, 3 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This seems like a failure to apply Occam's razor. There are a lot of asteroids whose masses are poorly determined, and Polyhymnia is just one of them. Indeed, the original paper giving that mass literally marks the extreme density estimate with a cross, indicating that it is not reliable (p. 20). And that holds for literally every supposedly "ultra-dense" asteroid listed. Speculation based on unreliable data is clearly not reliable: the obvious conclusion is simply that the mass estimates are wrong. Moreover, Polyhymnia has already been spectrally analysed as an S-type asteroid, so it is unrealistic for it to be made of anything but rocky silicates. See discussion at the Minor Planet Mailing List.
There is some discussion about natural SHEs at Extended periodic table#Searches in nature, Island of stability#Possible natural occurrence, and Extinct isotopes of superheavy elements. Double sharp (talk) 04:58, 4 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Original paper:
Some later estimations give lower density:
Droog Andrey (talk) 19:12, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Need help with a reference[edit]

I tried to transclude the NUBASE2020 reference from {{Isotopes table}} into a section of Isotopes of nitrogen, but was unable to do so even when the name was exactly as given. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 12:20, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Issue fixed, but I’m worrying about will the same "NUBASE2020" name collide with the real NUBASE2020 reference. Nucleus hydro elemon (talk) 14:09, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about adding a pronunciation of Sodium?[edit]

Potassium has the pronunciation already. 2405:4802:64A8:2D40:C19F:C86:76EB:92C7 (talk) 04:59, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there any real doubt for Na, though? Double sharp (talk) 05:19, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Double sharp It must the same as potassium. 2001:EE0:4BC7:CC30:B58E:E5C:90B0:54BE (talk) 11:33, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, probably we should remove the pronunciation from K as well. Double sharp (talk) 13:21, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Double sharp, it's time you removed them and in accordance to, add it if you wish and also get agreement for many other users. 2405:4802:64C6:ACB0:1DB:2F3:CF1B:D798 (talk) 03:23, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I removed the pronunciation from K. Double sharp (talk) 07:14, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Large amount of content removed from Mercury[edit]

Large amount of content has been removed from Mercury (element) recently. Would someone please take a look? --Dustfreeworld (talk) 02:05, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

DAB-page entries for chemical-element symbols[edit]

Now that the element ledes are fixed and we know about the "Xx (element)" redirects, I started a discussion about how to phrase the entries on the "Xx" disambiguation pages. Feel free to join Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Disambiguation pages#DAB-page entries for chemical-element symbols. DMacks (talk) 06:45, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"It has symbol Cu"[edit]

Not my field, but doesn't the recent change to the introduction of elements ("it has symbol Cu and atomic number 29") feel rather ungrammatical? "Has an atomic number of" is more common than "has atomic number" on Google Scholar. "Has the symbol" is also seemingly more common in chemistry textbooks. Marboxil (talk) 09:44, 4 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks fine to me. Could be interpreted as Cu being one of an indefinite set of symbols? Bazza (talk) 10:28, 4 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]