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It is rare when a new element is discovered, so we are having a bit of a bonanza at the moment. There are 4 new elements in the Periodic Table, elements 113, 115, 117 and 118, and the discovering teams have put forth names for each of them. The rules for naming an element say you can use Mythology, a place, a scientist, a property of the element, or or a mineral which includes the element as the basis of the name. In this case the names proposed include Nihonium (Nh) for element 113, discovered in Japan (Nihon is the name of the country English speakers call Japan, named in our language after the excellent lacquer-ware that was Europe’s chief import from Nihon starting in the 1600s; China suffered a similar fate for its equally amazing ceramics at about the same time). Two teams working in tandem, the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Moscow and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee working in conjunction with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California came up with the other three. They chose Moscovium (Mc) for element 115, Tennessine (Ts) for element 117, and Oganesson (Og) for element 118; Yuri Oganessian is a giant of superheavy element research, and lead the Moscow team who synthesized element 117. Thanks to Scientific American and the Royal Society of Chemistry for the heads up on these exciting new discoveries!