The list of elements chemistry students have to memorize is about to get longer. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has announced names for the two newest elements on the periodic table: Flerovium (FL) and Livermorium (Lv).
The public has five months to comment on the new names before they’re officially printed on the periodic table, the New York Times reported.
According to the Christian Science Monitor:
The newly named elements fit in the 114 and 116 spots, down in the lower-right corner of the periodic table, and were officially accepted to the periodic table back in June. They originally were synthesized more than 10 years ago, after which repeat experiments led to their confirmation.
For element 114, scientists tried out the name Ununquadium before settling on Flerovium in honor of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, where the element was synthesized, the Silicon Valley Mercury News reported.
Element 116, first made in Dubna, Russia, by scientists from Russia’s Joint Institute for Nuclear Research working with scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., was temporarily called Ununhexium, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
Livermore physicist Mark A. Stoyer said he and his colleagues on the US discovery team narrowed 50 possible names down to three that they presented to their Russian counterparts, the New York Times reported. “We were thinking from all kinds of angles,” he said.
While some lobbied for the name Moscovium, Livermorium, after the American laboratory, won out, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
If approved, Livermorium will be the second moniker on the periodic table associated with the lab, the Silicon Valley Mercury News reported. In 1997, Lawrencium was named after the lab's founder, E.O. Lawrence.
"Proposing these names for the elements honors not only the individual contributions of scientists from these laboratories to the fields of nuclear science, heavy element research, and super-heavy element research, but also the phenomenal cooperation and collaboration that has occurred between scientists at these two locations," Bill Goldstein, associate director of the Livermore lab's Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, said in a statement, the Silicon Valley Mercury News reported.
And the fun doesn’t end here. Four more super-heavy elements have been synthesized at Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, the Christian Science Monitor reported. Once the International Union confirms their discovery, they will need names, too.