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: theContinue reading “Berkelium, Californium”

Mendelevium – the Periodic Table 152 years on

Despite having made a start on the f-block, I’m still pondering Group 3 and where to place scandium and yttrium. I like the suggestion Kit Chapman made to me, that I somehow represent the dilemma in my table. While I do want to settle on one way or the other for the table as aContinue reading “Mendelevium – the Periodic Table 152 years on”

The Group 3 question

I have almost completed the d-block and it’s come together nicely. The patterns take their inspiration from a wide time-span: from alchemy and classical mythology through to modern technology and applications. Many are pictorial; others are closer to the geometric patterns of traditional blackwork embroidery. As is befitting the transition elements, there are several referencesContinue reading “The Group 3 question”

Lawrencium and Seaborgium

Today two more elements named after scientists – two giants of 20th Century nuclear chemistry, Ernest Lawrence and Glenn Seaborg. The 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Lawrence for his invention of the cyclotron – a device that produces high-energy particles by accelerating them in a spiral path. The energy of these particlesContinue reading “Lawrencium and Seaborgium”

Rutherford and Bohr

Given the hugely significant advances made by Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr in our understanding of the atom, they were obvious choices when it came to naming some of the more recently discovered elements. But the right to name these new elements was controversial and rooted in the Cold War. They remained without definitive namesContinue reading “Rutherford and Bohr”