In 1996, 39 years after this movie was made, a real Element 112 was identified by scientists. After several years of controversy surrounding the discovery, Element 112 was finally admitted to the periodic table in 2009 and named copernicum, after Nikolaus Copernicus, the astronomer who first established that the earth orbited the sun instead of the other way around. But the real copernicum is a highly unstable radioactive element (one isotope has a half-life of just four seconds, another has a half-life of 30 seconds) that doesn't behave at all like the fictional "Element 112" in this film.
Dr. David Conway:
We better do more than hope, gentlemen. We better pray!
When the "element 112" sample exploded inside the small globe, it was immediately and obviously followed by a blast from explosives buried in the ground under the globe.