Which Elements Are Named After People?

Curium is named for Marie and Pierre Curie.
Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

There are 14 elements named after people, although only 13 of the names are formally accepted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

  1. Samarium (Sm, 62): The first element named in honor of a person, Samarium is named for its ore, samarskite, which in turn is named for V.E. Samarsky-Bukjovets, the Russian mining engineer who allowed researchers access to his mineral samples.
  2. Bohrium (Bh, 107): Niels Bohr
  3. Curium (Cm, 96): Pierre and Marie Curie
  4. Einsteinium (Es, 99): Albert Einstein
  5. Fermium (Fm, 100): Enrico Fermi
  6. Gallium (Ga, 31): Named both after Gallia (Latin for France) and its discoverer, Lecoq de Boisbaudran (le coq, the French word for rooster translates to gallus in Latin)
  7. Hahnium (105): Otto Hahn (Dubnium, named for Dubna in Russia, is the IUPAC-accepted name for element 105)
  8. Lawrencium (Lr, 103): Ernest Lawrence
  9. Meitnerium (Mt, 109): Lise Meitner
  10. Mendelevium (Md, 101): Dmitri Mendeleev
  11. Nobelium (No, 102): Alfred Nobel
  12. Roentgenium (Rg, 111): Wilhelm Roentgen (formerly Ununumium)
  13. Rutherfordium (Rf, 104): Ernest Rutherford
  14. Seaborgium (Sg, 106): Glenn T. Seaborg