ZURICH — The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) approved the name and symbols for four elements: nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively for element 113, 115, 117, and 118. Oganesson was named in honor of Armenian scientist Yuri Oganessian.

In concordance with and following the earlier reports that the claims for discovery of these elements have been fulfilled, the discoverers have been invited to propose names. Keeping with tradition, the newly discovered elements have been named after a place or geographical region, or a scientist. The ending of the names also reflects and maintains historical and chemical consistency: “-ium” for elements 113 and 115 and as for all new elements of groups 1 to 16, “-ine” for element 117 and belonging to group 17 and “-on” for element 118 element belonging to group 18.

The name nihonium with the symbol Nh for element 113 was proposed by the discoverers at RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science (Japan); the name came from Nihon which is one of the two ways to say “Japan” in Japanese, and literally mean “the Land of Rising Sun”.

Moscovium with the symbol Mc for element 115 and tennessine with the symbol Ts for element 117 were proposed by the discoverers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russia), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA), Vanderbilt University (USA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA). Both are in line with tradition honoring a place or geographical region. Moscovium is in recognition of the Moscow region and honors the ancient Russian land that is the home of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, where the discovery experiments were conducted using the Dubna Gas-Filled Recoil Separator in combination with the heavy ion accelerator capabilities of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions. Tennessine is in recognition of the contribution of the Tennessee region of the United States, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, to superheavy element research.

Lastly, and in line with the tradition of honoring a scientist, the name oganesson and symbol Og for element 118 was proposed by the collaborating teams of discoverers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russia) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA) and recognizes Professor Yuri Oganessian (born 1933) for his pioneering contributions to transactinoid elements research. His many achievements include the discovery of superheavy elements and significant advances in the nuclear physics of superheavy nuclei including experimental evidence for the “island of stability”.

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