Remembering The Legacy Of Chemist Albert Ghiorso Hosts Robert Siegel and Melissa Block remember Albert Ghiorso, an ingenious and inventive scientist who helped discover 12 chemical elements — an accomplishment perhaps unrivaled in the history of atomic research. Ghiorso, 95, died of undisclosed causes last month at a care facility near his home in Berkeley, Calif.

Remembering The Legacy Of Chemist Albert Ghiorso

Remembering The Legacy Of Chemist Albert Ghiorso

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Hosts Robert Siegel and Melissa Block remember Albert Ghiorso, an ingenious and inventive scientist who helped discover 12 chemical elements — an accomplishment perhaps unrivaled in the history of atomic research. Ghiorso, 95, died of undisclosed causes last month at a care facility near his home in Berkeley, Calif.

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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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