Californium, a radioactive element discovered at Berkeley Lab in 1950, has most often been used in metal detectors, but a researcher at Florida State University has discovered new properties of the heavy metal that could someday help the U.S. store and recycle its spent nuclear fuel. More>
Famed breast cancer researcher Mina Bissell at the new Tissue Culture Facility in 1972.
On Feb. 29, 1940, hundreds gathered in UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Auditorium to see Ernest Lawrence receive his Nobel Prize medal in person by the Swedish Counsel General. The rare ceremony outside Sweden took place because of wartime travel disruptions.
A tiny pinch of plutonium appears to be the first weighted sample of Pu-239 ever created by the element’s discoverer, Berkeley Lab great Glenn Seaborg, in August of 1942. More>
Co-discoverers of the chemical element Lawrencium (Lw, now Lr) inscribe their newest chemical discovery onto the periodic table. Lawrencium was named in honor of Ernest Lawrence. This 1961 photo included (l-r) Robert Latimer, Albert Ghiorso, Torbjorn Sikkeland, and Almon Larsh.
October is typically prime fire season in the dry hills of Berkeley, and our onsite firefighters are ready for battle, should flames arise. Things were no different 64 years ago, as this photo taken on Oct. 21, 1950, shows.
Nobelist Emilio Segrè’s Wham-O “Pluto Platters” were recently rediscovered at the Lab. He and fellow Nobel-prize winner Owen Chamberlain often threw the discs to relax between experiments. The Pluto Platter was designed to appeal to UFO crazed Americans in the 1950s. Go here to watch a video of the Frisbee flying once more.
Uranium was long seen as the end of the periodic table, until 1932 when E.O. Lawrence invented the cyclotron, which smashed atoms and particles together, transforming one element into another. This is how synthetic plutonium was created in 1940 by a team led by Glenn Seaborg. More>
Photo includes Don Littlefield, Jack Wilson, Robert Cornog, Stephen Hurlburt, William Twitchell, and Dick Connell
Craig Hollowell and Greg Traynor prepare the Mobile Atmospheric Research Lab to study air pollution in 1981. This photo and many other Lab images are featured on the Lab’s Instagram account. Go here to check them out.