Christmas has come early for all the chemistry geeks. Four new elements that were discovered last week have been finally given their permanent names this Wednesday.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has finalized the names for the new elements, which now have finally completed the periodic table’s seventh row.
The official names, their two-letter symbols, and their atomic numbers are as follows:
- Nihonium (Nh) with atomic number 113
- Moscovium (Mc) with atomic number 115
- Tennessine (Ts) with atomic number 117
- Oganesson (Og) with atomic number 118
These names were coined back in June by Amercian, Japanese and Russian scientists, who were behind the discovery of the synthetic elements. The general requirements of naming an element are that it must be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or geographical region, property or a scientist. And these names creatively fit all these requirements.
Element 113, Nihonium, was named after the word “Nihon,” which is another word for “Japan” in Japanese. The element 117, Tennessine, is named after the US scientists’ home state Tennessee.
The element 115 Moscovium is a clear connection with the Russian capital Moscow and the element 118, Oganesson, is named after Russian nuclear physicist, Yuri Oganessian.
The discovery of element 113 was done at the Riken Institute in Japan, the elements 115 by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, 117 by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and 118 by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia.
Jan Reedijk talked about the naming routine,
“It is a pleasure to see that specific places and names (country, state, city, and scientist) related to the new elements is recognized in these four names. Although these choices may perhaps be viewed by some as slightly self-indulgent, the names are completely in accordance with IUPAC rules.”
Exciting times for chemists!