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A petition has been launched to name one of the newly discovered heavy metals recently added to the periodic table after the late Motorhead frontman Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister. The petition, on Change.org, has had over 22,000 signatures (at time of writing) in less than a day.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced four new elements had been added to the periodic table earlier this month, completing the seventh row. The IUPAC confirmed there was enough evidence to claim the discovery of elements 113, 115, 117 and 118. They will be officially named by the scientists that discovered them over the coming months.
But petition-starter John Wright had his own idea, saying one of them should be named after Lemmy, who died on 28 December from an aggressive form of cancer. He said the element 118 – which is currently and informally known as Ununoctium 118 – should be known as Lemmium.
"Heavy rock lost its most iconic figure over Christmas with the sudden and unexpected death of Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister," the petition says. "Lemmy was a force of nature and the very essence of heavy metal. We believe it is fitting that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry recommend that one of the four newly discovered Heavy Metals in the Periodic table is named Lemmium."
All new elements are named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a scientist or a property. "An astrological object (a star) has been named Lemmy to meet the IUPAC naming recommendations," the petition notes.