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Flickr/Ben W under CC-BY 2.0
Strange rules dictate how new elements get their names.

Scientists have officially named the four newest elements of the periodic table

By Akshat Rathi

With only 118 elements in the periodic table, it’s a rare day in science when four new elements get bestowed their names. Yet that’s exactly what happened yesterday (Nov. 30) when the official chemistry body announced that it had approved the proposed names for four elements discovered and confirmed over the past decade: Nihonium (Nh), Moscovium (Mc), Tennessine (Ts), and Oganesson (Og) for elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 respectively.

With these four elements named, the seventh row of the iconic periodic table is now complete.

If you had a fun chemistry teacher in school, you are likely to have been played The Elements by Tom Lehrer, where the pianist sings the names of all of the elements in the periodic table to a pleasing tune. Since the song was written in 1959, scientists have discovered and named 16 new elements. So Helen Arney, a comedian and science communicator, took it upon herself to update the song

Akshat Rathi
Senior reporter
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