In updated Periodic Table, some new elements may be named for Japan, Moscow, Tennessee

The periodic table of elements will soon be updated with four new names, including three that honor Moscow, Japan, and Tennessee. A total of four new names were recommended Wednesday by an international scientific group, and the fourth is named for a Russian scientist.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) makes decisions about new chemical element names. The organization presented these four names today for public response. The discoverers of each new element suggested the names.

From IUPAC's announcement:

Following the earlier claims for discovery of elements 113, 115, 117, and 118, the discoverers have been invited to propose names. The following are now disclosed for public review:

nihonium and symbol Nh, for the element 113;

moscovium and symbol Mc, for the element 115;

tennessine and symbol Ts, for the element 117; and

oganesson and symbol Og, for the element 118.


From the Associated Press:

The four elements, known now by their numbers, completed the seventh row of the periodic table when the chemistry organization verified their discoveries last December.

Tennessee is the second U.S. state to be recognized with an element; California was the first. Element names can come from places, mythology, names of scientists or traits of the element. Other examples: americium, einsteinium and titanium.

Joining more familiar element names such as hydrogen, carbon and lead are:

Moscovium (mah-SKOH'-vee-um), symbol Mc, for element 115, and tennessine (TEH'-neh-seen), symbol Ts, for element 117. The discovery team is from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Nihonium (nee-HOH'-nee-um), symbol Nh, for element 113. The element was discovered in Japan, and Nihon is one way to say the country's name in Japanese. It's the first element to be discovered in an Asian country.
Oganesson (OH'-gah-NEH'-sun), symbol Og, for element 118. The name honors Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian.

Public comment will be accepted through Nov. 8, 2016.