International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) (IPA: /aɪjuːpæk/) is an international non-governmental organization established in 1919 devoted to the advancement of chemistry. It has as its members national chemistry societies. It is most well known as the recognized authority in developing standards for the naming of the chemical elements and their compounds, through its Interdivisional Committee on Nomenclature and Symbols (IUPAC nomenclature). It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU).
In addition to nomenclature guidelines, the IUPAC sets standards for international spelling in the event of a dispute; for example, it ruled that international aluminium is preferable to the American aluminum and American sulfur is preferable to the British sulphur.
Many IUPAC publications are available over the Internet. For example, Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry (the "Green Book") can be downloaded in its entirety, while Compendium of Chemical Terminology is fully searchable online.
An important IUPAC supplement ("Recommendations for nomenclature and tables in biochemical thermodynamics, 1994") is available at http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/thermod/.
As the introduction to the proposed 3rd edition points out, the failure to use standardized units can result in disastrous consequences, illustrated by the loss of NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter. The 1983 airplane accident known as the Gimli Glider was also a consequence of similar confusion.
- Element naming controversy
- International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
- Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM)
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry nomenclature
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