A chemical nomenclature is a set of rules to generate systematic names for chemical compounds. The nomenclature used most frequently worldwide is the one created and developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
The IUPAC's rules for naming organic and inorganic compounds are contained in two publications, known as the Blue Book and the Red Book, respectively. A third publication, known as the Green Book, describes the recommendations for the use of symbols for physical quantities (in association with the IUPAP), while a fourth, the Gold Book, contains the definitions of a large number of technical terms used in chemistry. Similar compendia exist for biochemistry (the White Book, in association with the IUBMB), analytical chemistry (the Orange Book), macromolecular chemistry (the Purple Book) and clinical chemistry (the Silver Book). These "color books" are supplemented by shorter recommendations for specific circumstances that are published from time to time in the journal Pure and Applied Chemistry.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC, on lowercase letters: iupac, // EYE-ew-pak or // EW-pak) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). The international headquarters of IUPAC is located in Zürich, Switzerland. The administrative office, known as the "IUPAC Secretariat", is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, United States. This administrative office is headed by the IUPAC executive director. As of 1 August 2012, the Executive Director is Dr. John D. Petersen.
IUPAC was established in 1919 as the successor of the International Congress of Applied Chemistry for the advancement of chemistry. Its members, the National Adhering Organizations, can be national chemistry societies, national academies of sciences, or other bodies representing chemists. There are fifty-four National Adhering Organizations and three Associate National Adhering Organizations. IUPAC's Inter-divisional Committee on Nomenclature and Symbols (IUPAC nomenclature) is the recognized world authority in developing standards for the naming of the chemical elements and compounds. Since its creation, IUPAC has been run by many different committees with different responsibilities. These committees run different projects which include standardizing nomenclature, finding ways to bring chemistry to the world, and publishing works.
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