What is Livermorium

Livermorium is a synthetic chemical compound with symbol LV. It has an atomic weight of 116 and is radioactive.

Till now, it is only developed in the laboratory and has not been observed in nature. LV is  named after Lawrence Livermorium National laboratory. It was in collaboration with the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia and was discovered in 2000 and experiments on it were carried between 2000 to 2006. IUPAC officially adopted its name on 3 May 2012.

Four isotopes of livermorium are discovered until now with mass numbers between 290 to 293. The longest lived isotope is lv-293 with life half-life of about 60 milliseconds, and there is the possibility of a fifth one as it has been reported to the laboratory but not yet confirmed and all its isotopes are highly radioactive and unstable.

It is the heaviest chalcogen (but has not been established to behave heavier homolog than chalcogen polonium) and is placed in group 16 and period 7.

It can be a post-transition metal (although it shows significant differences from them) and it has also shown to have similar properties to its lighter homologue (oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium and polonium).

Livermorium is placed in the chalcogen family or chalcogen group. 

Livermorium can be the heaviest chalcogen hydride and the heaviest homologue of water.

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Discovery of Livermorium

  • It was founded by the bombardment of curium 248 with accelerated calcium-48 ions. After experiment a single atom was detected, decaying by alpha emission with decay energy of 10.5 MeV to an isotope of flerovium and the results were published in 2000.

  • The compound found was taken as daughter isotope of flerovium and properties matching to flerovium first isotopes synthesized in 1999 and assigned to Fl 289 an assignment of parent livermorium. Later in December 2002 it was found that compound found was actually Fl-289 and thus was the assignment of synthesized parent livermorium lv-293 

  • Further experiments in April-May in 2005 and experiments on flerovium its properties by different institutes lead to the discovery of livermorium

  • Equation of the experimental reaction was :  Cm -248 + Ca - 48 → lv - 293 + 3 neutron →Fl - 289 + alpha particle

  • Using Mendeleev's nomenclature for undiscovered and unnamed elements, it is also called eka-polonium

  • Synthesis of livermorium was confirmed by GSI (2012) and RIKEN (2014 to 2016) [Riken is an institute in japan established in 1917].

Properties of Livermorium

  • Properties of livermorium are not known till yet as it decays very rapidly only predictions are made of it.

  •  It belongs to p- block element and with an atomic number of 116 and is in a solid-state at 20-degree celsius.

  • Its colour is not known till know and presumed to be metallic/white/silvery white/grey.

  • Its electronic configuration is : [Rn]5f14 6d10 7s2 7p4

  • Its melting point and boiling point are not known. 

  • But it is taken into consideration that it will follow the trend of melting and boiling point as in the chalcogen group and will have a melting point a little higher than polonium. It boils at a little lower temperature than polonium. 

  • It is expected that it will be denser than polonium (alpha-LV:12.9 gm/cm cube while alpha polonium: 9.2 g/cm cube), and also like polonium, it will have alpha and a beta allotrope.

  • Its relative atomic mass is 293, and its crucial isotope is lv-293.

  • It is projected to be a 7p series of chemical elements and the heaviest element of group 16 under polonium.

  • It is also expected that it is near the centre of the island of stability centred on copernicium (element 112) to flerovium (component 114) {NOTE: island of stability are the predicated sets of isotopes of superheavy element  who may have considerably longer half-lives than known isotopes of these elements and it is predicated that is like an island on nuclides)

  • Its valency is +2 the most stable oxidation state of the livermorium with rather a +4 unstable livermorium state.

  • The +2 stable oxidation state of livermorium is natural to achieve and would be accessible to with beryllium and magnesium while the +4 unstable oxidation state can only be achieved with potent electronegative ligands, such as livermorium (IV) fluoride (LvF4) it can least theoretically have a +6 oxidation state and can expand its octet as all chalcogen can (except oxygen which cannot develop).

  • Livermorium experiences inert pair effect, and it is more potent than experienced in polonium (the stabilization of the 7s electrons is known as inert pair effect).

  • And following the trend of the chalcogen group, it should be a hydride rather than a Livermore, but it will still be a covalent molecular compound.

Uses of Livermorium

  • Since livermorium has been discovered and synthesized also in the laboratory and it is not found in nature it has fewer atoms present and also it decays rapidly (within milliseconds) after being formed and even not much is known of this element and thus it has no commercial uses.

  • It's not used in commercial uses, but it is used extensively in the field of research to probe into the properties and other valuable insights on superheavy atoms.

  • Gained some information regarding the superheavy nuclei present in its atom by the synthesis of more livermorium isotopes (the isotopes of livermorium which were taken had few neutrons more or less than the known ones).

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1) Where was Livermorium Discovered, in Which Year and Why are its Properties Challenging to Analyze ?


  • Livermorium is not found in nature. It was discovered in the laboratory of Lawrence Livermore National laboratory in the year 2000.

  • Very few atoms were created in the laboratory. Its properties are challenging to analyze because, It decays rapidly after being formed. Also, Livermorium is a highly radioactive and unstable element. 

  • The production cost is very high as it requires High efficiency reactors. 

  • Considering the cost and short life of LV, it is produced only when research is to be done. 

  • All the known properties are predicted by collecting the data of the reactor's and detector’s energy, location, temperature, time taken for the process and decaying.