June 9, 2016 | Jon Farrow

Years ago, I bought a poster of the periodic table to help me study. In five months' time, when the proposed names for four new elements get approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, it will be out of date.

These new names are quite international, representing discoveries made all over the world. Nihonium refers to Nihon, the Japanese word for Japan; moscovium is named after the Moscow region in Russia; tennessine after the US state Tennessee; and oganesson after Yuri Oganessian, a pioneer in nuclear physics.


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The elements being named - numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118 - can only be created in special labs.


Image: Wikimedia/Sandbh

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