Official Site of Speaker, Historian and Author Sean Munger

Heavy Metal

Metal for Friday: Sign the Lemmy periodic table petition! [And video]


This is rather an unusual “Metal for Friday” article, but these are unusual times–especially since the passing in late December of legendary Motörhead bassist and vocalist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, which shocked and saddened the metal world. As it turns out, Lemmy’s death has coincided with an interesting scientific discovery. Several new elements have been discovered and are to be added officially to the periodic table, which is governed (I did not know this before) by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Some of these new elements are classified, in scientific terminology, as heavy metals. A petition on, started by John Wright of York, England, is asking the IUPAC to name one of these new elements “Lemmium,” after the beloved Motörhead frontman. It’s not just frivolity. Ken Durose, a professor of physics at the University of Liverpool (and a Motörhead fan), has come out in favor of the move. As of now there are over 114,000 signatures.

It seems like this is a slam-dunk. Unfortunately the IUPAC rules have conventions on how elements can be named, and a stringent application of them would exclude Lemmy from consideration. It’s possible, though, that significant public support might prevail upon them to bend the rules just this once. How could anyone deny that a real scientific heavy metal should bear the name of one of heavy metal’s most iconic figures?

Please sign the petition! And just to keep the “Metal for Friday” tradition on this blog alive, here’s a video of Motörhead performing “Bomber” at Hammersmith in 2011.

Have a great weekend, and Shabbat Shalom! \m/


  1. Lemimium, love it. Sad about his passing.

  2. Andy Johnson

    I’m sure Lemmy is still with us and loving this. Lets make this happen people, sign the petition. Thanks for the information Sean.

  3. Howdy Sean, that is too bad about the strict rules. Lemmium, I could remember that. Now that I am here, I thought I would share this hauntingly beautiful song for you I came across today by the heavy metal band Disturbed. I hope you like it, as I sure did!

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