Remembering The Legacy Of Chemist Albert Ghiorso
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Albert Ghiorso co-discovered 12 chemical elements, more than anyone in history. He died in December at the age of 95. His memorial service was last weekend in Berkeley, California.
ROBERT SCHMIEDER: The reason he was legendary is because he seemed to be able to do magic things that other people couldn't do.
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
That's fellow physicist Robert Schmieder. He knew Albert Ghiorso for 40 years.
SCHMIEDER: When you would talk with Albert, you were acutely aware that he was extraordinarily focused on the subject and his mind was extremely quick.
BLOCK: Ghiorso never got an advanced degree, no doctorate, just a bachelor's in electrical engineering. During the Second World War, he worked on the Manhattan Project.
SIEGEL: It was then that Ghiorso helped discover the first of his 12 elements: americium and curium. After the war, Ghiorso returned to Berkeley, where he co- discovered two more elements and took the opportunity to pay homage to his hometown.
SCHMIEDER: And those were named berkelium and californium.
BLOCK: Albert Ghiorso developed new instruments and new techniques to help discover new elements not found in nature. Rounding out the list are einsteinium, fermium.
SIEGEL: Mendelevium, nobelium.
BLOCK: Lawrencium, rutherfordium.
SIEGEL: Dubnium and seaborgium.
BLOCK: Albert Ghiorso died last month at the age of 95. That's also the atomic number of the first new element he helped discover.
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