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Ausonium (atomic symbol Ao) was the name assigned to the element with atomic number 93, now known as neptunium. It was named after a Greek name of Italy, Ausonia. The same team assigned the name hesperium to element 94, after Hesperia, a poetic name of Italy.

The discovery of the element, now discredited, was made by Enrico Fermi and a team of scientists at the University of Rome in 1934. Following the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938, it was realized that Fermi's discovery was actually a mixture of barium, krypton, and other elements. The actual element was discovered several years later, and assigned the name neptunium.

Fascist authorities wanted that one of the elements was named littorio after the Roman lictores who carried the fasces, a symbol appropriated by Fascism.

See also

  • Bohemium, a 1934 claim for element 93 by Odolen Koblic.
  • Sequanium, a 1938 claim for element 93 by Horia Hulubei and Yvette Cauchois.


  • Element name etymologies. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  • Enrico Fermi, Artifical radioactivity produced by neutron bombardment, Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1938.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ausonium". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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