According to the Liverpool Echo, a U.K. physics professor has thrown his support behind a campaign to rename a “super-heavy” periodic element in memory of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister.
Fans wishing to honor Lemmy are petitioning to name one of four newly discovered elements after the recently deceased MOTÖRHEAD frontman.
“Heavy rock lost its most iconic figure over Christmas with the sudden and unexpected death of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister,” said John Wright, the business support manager from York, England who started the petition. “Lemmy was a force of nature and the very essence of heavy metal.
“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.”
Kilmister died on December 28, just two days before the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced the discovery of elements 113, 115, 117 and 118.
The petition has garnered more than 51,000 supporters, including Ken Durose, professor of physics at the University of Liverpool.
“When I put on my MOTÖRHEAD t-shirt this morning and came to work, I hadn’t heard of the campaign to call one of the new elements ‘Lemmium,'” Durose told the Liverpool Echo.
“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.
“Everyone’s really amused by it in the Department of Physics at Liverpool University.
“The problem is that elements have to be named after either their properties, a myth, a mineral, a place or a scientist.
“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!”
For now, the new elements have “working names” — ununtrium and the symbol Uut for element 113, ununpentium and Uup for 115, ununseptium and Uus for 117, and ununoctium and Uuo for 118.
— Liverpool Echo (@LivEchonews) January 6, 2016