Brady Haran visited Berkeley today to film segments for his Periodic Table of Videos series. The segments focused on Glenn T. Seaborg’s life and his discovery of ten transuranic elements at Berkeley, including Plutonium and Seaborgium, named in his honor. Of element 106, Jeffrey Winters wrote in Discover Magazine,
Not only is Seaborg the first living scientist to have an element named after him, he’s also the only person who could receive mail addressed only in elements: Seaborgium, Lawrencium (for the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory where he still works), Berkelium, Californium, Americium.
Seaborg was a public intellectual, gifted politician, and scientific advisor to eleven Presidents of the United States.
With Professor Alexander Pines, who holds the Glenn T. Seaborg Chair in Chemistry, and Professor Darleane Hoffman, we toured relevant sites in Gilman Hall and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Darleane’s book on the history and science of this period is available on Amazon:[openbook booknumber=”978-1860940873″ templatenumber=”3″]
The elements discovered by Seaborg and co-workers: