If Motorhead Fans Get Their Way, A New Element Will Be Named After Lemmy

Science, the periodic table and rock ‘n’ roll!

Heavy metal fans wishing to honor the late Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister are petitioning to name one of four newly discovered elements after the recently deceased Motorhead vocalist and bass player.

Kilmister died on Dec. 28, just two days before the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced the discovery of elements 113, 115, 117 and 118.

John Wright, a business support manager from York, England, started a Change.org petition that connects the classification of the new elements with Lemmy’s music genre, according to the BBC.

“Lemmy was a force of nature and the very essence of heavy metal,” the petition says. “We believe it is fitting that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry recommend that one of the four new discovered Heavy Metals in the Periodic table is named Lemmium.”

The petition has garnered more than 28,000 supporters, including a physics professor from Liverpool, but it’s up to the scientists who discovered the elements to decide on names, as Quartz explains.

Traditionally, elements have been named for minerals, a location, some property of the element or a noted scientist. There is also precedence for choosing a name based on a mythological concept or character — so maybe Lemmium has a chance of getting in that way.

For now, the new elements have “working names” — ununtrium and the symbol Uut for element 113, ununpentium and Uup for 115, ununseptium and Uus for 117, and ununoctium and Uuo for 118.

There have been other suggested names for the —> Read More