Names Proposed for Four New Elements of the Periodic Table


Officially recognised in December of 2015, the four new elements have now been named.

Meet nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og). These have the atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 respectively, according the the IUPAC periodic table. These chemical elements do not exist naturally; they are made by colliding two smaller nuclei.

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Labelled for reuse at Wikimedia commons

Naming chemical elements is usually ascribed to the discoverer:

Nihonium (Nh) was discovered by a Japanese team, the name meaning “the land of the rising sun” in reference to Japan.

Moscovium (Mc) is named after Moscow, as the lab in which this was synthesised was the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna.

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Labelled for reuse at

Tennessine (Ts) also follows this pattern: Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee contributed to its fruition.

Oganesson (Og) is an homage to the work of nuclear physicist Yuri Organessiam, who has carried out extensive research on the discovery of new elements.

The proposed names are not confirmed until after they have been under consultation by the IUPAC (Union of Pure and Applied Physics and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) which will take five months. If there are no objections, these names will stand.


Sub-editor 2017/18. Third year Biology with Linguistics student. Interested particularly in global health, genetics and nutrition. Very disposed towards writing about things that haven't quite been explained yet.

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