The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Joint Working Party has announced the official names and symbols of the chemical elements formerly known as 113, 115, 117 and 118. The proposed names and symbols were announced back in June and were approved on Nov. 28 after a five-month public review.

The elements complete the seventh row of the Periodic Table. The discoverers, who come from Japan, the United States and Russia, were given the right to propose the names and symbols.

Official Names And Symbols For New Elements

According to tradition, the four elements have been named in honor of a scientist or a geographic area.

Element 113, which was previously given the name ununtrium with the symbol Uut, is officially named nihonium, and its periodic symbol is Nh. Discoverers from Japan's RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science proposed the name, which comes from the word Nihon - "Japan" in their mother tongue.

Elements 115, 117 and 118 were previously designated the names ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium, with the respective symbols Uup, Uus and Uuo. The collaboration team in charge with their criteria fulfillment review and the permanent names and symbols proposed the names moscovium with symbol Mc for element 115, tennessine with symbol Ts for element 117 and oganesson with symbol Og for element 118.

Moscovium, tennessine and oganesson were discovered by scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States.

Moscovium is named after the region of Moscow in Russia where the JINR is based, and tennessine honors the U.S. state Tennessee, which is home to scientific institutions conducting research on superheavy elements.

Oganesson, meanwhile, is named in honor of Professor Yuri Oganessian, a Russian nuclear physicist known to be a prolific element hunter who was instrumental in discovering some of the heaviest elements now in the periodic table - including oganesson.

“It is a great honor for me,” Oganessian said, “as well as a measure of my input into the science of the superheavy elements.”

Public Review

The IUPAC announced the verification of the discoveries of the new elements in December 2015, noting that these elements complete the seventh row of the periodic table.

The discoverers were then invited to propose permanent names and symbols, which were announced in June for public review. During the review period that ended on Nov. 8, people gave comments and suggestions as well as raised concerns about the proposed names and symbols. Some of the questions were about how the element names were pronounced and translated into other languages.

Professor Jan Reedijk, the president of IUPAC's inorganic chemistry division, thanked the general public for participating in the process.

"Overall, it was a real pleasure to realize that so many people are interested in the naming of the new elements," he said. "For now, we can all cherish our periodic table completed down to the seventh row."

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