US nuclear chemist. He shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1951 with his co-worker Edwin McMillan for the discovery of plutonium and research on the transuranic elements.
All transuranic elements are radioactive and none occurs to any appreciable extent in nature; they are synthesized by transmutation reactions. Seaborg was involved in the identification of plutonium (atomic number 94) in 1940, americium (95) in 1944–45, curium (96) in 1944, berkelium (97) in 1949, californium (98) in 1950, einsteinium (99) in 1952, fermium (100) in 1952, mendelevium (101) in 1955, and nobelium (102) in 1958.
Seaborg was born in Ishpeming, Michigan, and studied at the University of California. During part of World War II he was at the metallurgical laboratory at Chicago University, where much of the early work on the atomic bomb was carried out. He was professor of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley 1945–61, and chair of the Atomic Energy Commission 1961–71, encouraging the rapid growth of the US nuclear-power industry. For his leadership in the development of nuclear chemistry and atomic energy, he received the 1959 Enrico Fermi award. In 1971 he returned to academic life at Berkeley. He received the Priesley Medal of the American Chemical Society (1979), the Henry De Wolf Smyth Award of the American Nuclear Society (1982), and the Actinide Award (1984). In 1997 element 106 was officially named seaborgium, the first time an element had been named after a living person.
Seaborg, Glenn Theodore
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