60-Year-Old Film Surfaces, Depicting Discovery of Mendelevium

November 4, 2013

A reel of black & white film shot nearly 60 years ago has surfaced at Berkeley Lab, depicting the discovery of Mendelevium — or Element 101 — as reenacted by some of the legendary scientists who did the actual work at that time, such as Al Ghiorso. Since the 1940s, Berkeley Lab scientists were locked in a race to synthesize new elements, and more often than not, they came out winners. Sixteen elements, most of them in the actinide series at the bottom of the periodic table, were discovered and synthesized by its researchers. More>

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11 Responses to “60-Year-Old Film Surfaces, Depicting Discovery of Mendelevium”

  1. Stephanie Daglia says:

    I love the supercharged VW!!

  2. Rick Bloemhard says:

    I agree, the Beetle runs uphill must have been pretty exciting, I wonder if it is still putt putting around some where?

  3. Daphne says:

    Great job! Nice to see LBL history being preserved.

  4. Paul Preuss says:

    Claude has done a wonderful job of restoring this film — which was very professionally produced. A blast from the past.

  5. Paul Lewis says:

    Claude has performed a most valuable service by rescuing and restoring this historic film. It is unimaginable that this historic film was going to be trashed before Claude rescued it. Kudos to Claude!

  6. Helen Jefferson says:

    a supercharged Beetle not-to-be-confused-with Super Beetle from early 70’s.

  7. Joe Saba says:

    Two thumbs up Claude!

  8. Tracy Mattox says:

    This is such a great clip! Our PPE has really come a long way in the last 60 years ;-)

  9. Nadine Choppin says:

    My father is Dr G R Choppin, shown on this film. We – the family – have all heard this story about the run up the hill in the bug – which was much wilder than shown on this film! Greatly enjoyed seeing this and Dad watched and relived it several times!

  10. Ken Nash says:

    Professor Choppin was my Ph.D. advisor at FSU in the 1970s and we heard the story of Greg’s involvement in synthesizing Md many times. This semester, I am teaching a nuclear chemistry course at Washington State University and just last week I related this story to my students. I am certain they will enjoy the video. Bravo and many thanks.

  11. lee sobotka says:

    Thanks Claude! I wonder if the “fission” group – with stan as its leader – was already established in 1955?

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