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Fans demand 'Lemmium' periodic table tribute

New heavy metal to honour Motörhead frontman?

By Lester Haines, 6 Jan 2016

Inevitably, and agreeably, an online petition is demanding that one of the four heavy metal elements coming soon to an engorged periodic table near you be named "Lemmium", in honour of recently departed Motörhead frontman Ian Fraser Kilmister, aka Lemmy.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has admitted elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 to the table's seventh row, and the various laboratories involved in their discovery have the privilege of proposing permanent titles for the newcomers.

As we noted earlier this week, the last official dubbing back in 2012 resulted in elements 114 and 116 being christened flerovium and livermorium, after Russia's Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

This, we suggested, showed a dismal lack of imagination, and readers responded with some inventive ideas for Messrs 113, 115, 117, and 118.

Simon Harris quickly got his pitch in for element 115, for which "as a super-heavy metal, Kilmisterium would be a fitting tribute". Anonymous Custard replied: "Only if it changes to Lemmium after a few years without anyone knowing who came up with the new name or why..."

Uncanny. While IUPAC's Inorganic Chemistry Division has the final say on names, the man behind the Lemmium petition reckons the moniker's legit because "an astrological object (a star) has been named Lemmy to meet the IUPAC naming recommendations". ®

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