The newest heavy metal quartet has debuted, but to the disappointment of more than 150,000 Motörhead fans, none of the members will be named for late rock legend Lemmy Kilmister, who died last December.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced Wednesday that four newly discovered elements added to the periodic table have been named by their discoverers and are up for public review.
A change.org petition aimed to name one of the superheavy elements “lemmium” was perhaps doomed from the start, as IUPAC has strict guidelines for the naming of elements:
“Keeping with tradition, newly discovered elements can be named after a mythological concept or character (including an astronomical object); a mineral or similar substance; a place, or a geographical region; a property of the element or a scientist.”
It is possible they were hoping Kilmister would qualify as a mythological character. Instead, the element with the atomic number 115 will be known as moscovium (Mc), named for the city of Moscow. Another new element, nihonium (Nh), is named for one of the Japanese terms for Japan, meaning literally “the Land of Rising Sun.” Nihonium has an atomic number of 113 and is the first element to have been discovered by a research team from an Asian nation.
Tennessine (Ts), of atomic number 117, is also named for a geographic area in honor of contributions by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Tennessee. Lastly, element 118 will be known as oganesson (Og), in honor of Russian nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian, who was a pioneer in the research of superheavy elements.
Nihonium was discovered and named by a Japanese team led by Professor Kosuke Morita, while the other three elements were named by researchers from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia and the United States.
The public review period will expire in five months on November 8, giving die-hard metal fans one last chance to lobby for Lemmy.