In January, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) made an announcement that rendered science textbooks everywhere out-of-date: Four new elements had been added to the Periodic Table.
The elements, which had made the scientific chart’s seventh row officially complete, didn’t have the sexiest names. Temporarily dubbed 113, 115, 117 and 118, IUPAC said the elements would receive official names in the subsequent months.
This week, IUPAC finally revealed the possible monikers: Nihonium (Nh) for the element 113, Moscovium (Mc) for 115, Tennessine (Ts) for 117 and Oganesson (Og) for 118.
The names were proposed by the scientists who discovered each element. Nihonium was named by researchers at RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan. Nihon is one of two ways to say “Japan” in Japanese and means “the Land of Rising Sun,” said IUPAC.
Moscovium and Tennessine were named after the Russian city and American state. The names were jointly proposed by scientists in Russia and the U.S., who had collaborated in the discoveries of elements 115, 117 and 118.
Oganesson was named in honor of Professor Yuri Oganessian, a Russian nuclear physicist and the head of the Russia-U.S. collaborative effort. According to Chemistry World, Oganessian is the second person to receive the honor of getting a new element named after him while still alive. Glenn Seaborg, winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was the first.
IUPAC said it has reviewed the four names and “recommends [them] for acceptance.” The monikers will now undergo a five-month public review before being ratified in November.
“It’s important for people around the world to review the names to make sure that they fit with all the different languages,” Lynn Soby, IUPAC’s executive director, told Chemistry World. “Now the public and the scientific community can weigh in on things.”