Fans petition to name new element after Motorhead's Lemmy

By Daniel Uria  |  Jan. 6, 2016 at 9:11 PM
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YORK, England, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A fan of British heavy metal band Motorhead is petitioning to have one of four newly discovered periodic elements named after deceased frontman Lemmy Kilmister.

The petition, posted to, calls for one of the elements, identified as heavy metals, be named "Lemmium" in honor of the rock star who died of cancer Dec. 28.

"Lemmy was a force of nature and the very essence of heavy metal," the petition states. "We believe it is fitting that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry recommend that one of the four new discovered heavy metals in the periodic table is named Lemmium."

Ken Durose, a physics professor at the University of Liverpool and a Motorhead fan, is among the 40,000 supporters the petition has gained.

"The whole idea that you name a new heavy metal after Lemmy -- he basically invented heavy metal but he always called himself rock 'n' roll -- so I think it's a terrific idea," he told the Liverpool Echo.

Despite Durose's enthusiastic support, he did point out one potential flaw with the petition.

"The problem is that elements have to be named after either their properties, a myth, a mineral, a place or a scientist," he said. "Unfortunately, Lemmy wasn't any of these, but if they broaden the criteria to include rock 'n' roll legends he's in with a chance!"

The petition seeks to work around this requirement by citing a star named after Lemmy as a means to meet the IUPAC's criteria.

The group would also face competition from a Japanese research team that won the right to name element 113.

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