The super-heavy elements 114 and 116 have officially been recognized by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the official arbiter of chemical names, and have been named in honor of the U.S. and Russian institutions where they were jointly discovered. Element 116 has been named livermorium with the symbol Lv in honor of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the nearby city of Livermore.
Element 114 has been named flerovium, with the symbol Fl, in honor of the Flerov Laboratory on Nuclear Reactions in Dubna. Georgiy N. Flerov, who died in 1990, was a renowned physicist who discovered the spontaneous fission of uranium and was a pioneer in the creation of super-heavy elements. He was the founder of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, which was renamed FLNR in his honor after his death.
Only 92 elements exist in nature, but researchers have now created and named 20 more, including elements 114 and 116. Elements 113, 115 and 117 have also been created, but their existence has not been officially recognized and they have not been named. All of the man-made elements have short half-lives, which is why they are not found in nature. In general, the heavier the element, the shorter its half-life. Theoretical physicists think there may be an "island of stability" among certain super-heavy elements, giving them a longer half-life. Researchers had hoped that might prove to be the case with element 118, but that did not pan out. Physicists are now pinning their hopes on elements with atomic weights of 120 and higher.