Berkelium, Californium

Today two elements with names derived from places. In fact they are named after the same place. The University of California, Berkeley has been the home of many element discoveries (see Lawrencium and Seaborgium) including berkelium in 1949 and californium in 1950.

I have represented berkelium with the most recognisable building at UC Berkeley: the Sather Tower, as depicted on the logo of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This campanile was built in 1915 and originally had a 12-bell chime cast by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough, England. Augmentations over the years have resulted in the current 61-bell carillon which is played several times a week by the University Carillonist.

Californium’s pattern is taken from the seal of the University of California, designed by Tiffany and Co in 1908. The five-pointed star and rays of light streaming downwards represent the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. The seal also incorporates a book and the motto ‘Let there be light’.

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