Earlier this month, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry or IUPAC announced the addition of four new elements to the periodic table. The elements currently named as elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 are the first to be added to the roster since 2012. The elements are amongst the heaviest in the table and have thus completed its seventh row.
"The chemistry community is eager to see its most cherished table finally being completed down to the seventh row. IUPAC has now initiated the process of formalizing names and symbols for these elements" gushed Jan Reedijk from IUPAC.
Since the announcement, many enthusiasts have brought forth ideas as to the names of the new elements. The NY Times rounded up several names that have been suggested. Amongst the more interesting ones are Ghiorsonium, after Albert Ghiorso - a scientist who have co-discovered 12 element over the past three decades and Godzillium - after the mythical Japanese 300 foot lizard.
One of the more popular suggestions however is naming element 115 "Lemmium" after Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, lead singer for the metal band, Motorhead. Lemmy passed away late last year in December 28 and according to the change.org page instigated by John Wright of New York, it is only a fitting tribute for the heavy metal icon to have a superheavy metal named after him.
The IUPAC were quick to clarify however that the naming of the elements is a privilege reserved to those who were instrumental to identifying them.
"The discoverers from Japan, Russia and the USA will now be invited to suggest permanent names and symbols" read IUPAC's statement.
According to the IUPAC guidelines, new elements can be named after a concept, a mineral, place, country, property or scientist. Once a name proposal is accepted, it goes through a five-month review process.