Glenn T. Seaborg's Life: Glenn T. Seaborg

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Glenn T. Seaborg was born in Ishpeming, Sweden in 1912, into a family known publically as being intelligent. However, in 1922, the family moved to California in order to expand their opportunities. In high school, he had no interest in science. However, a science class was required for graduation. A teacher named Dwight Logan Reid is given credit for his interest in the field. Due to his family’s finances, the nearby University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) was his only option; due to its free tuition. Financial hardships were common throughout Seaborg’s childhood and early adulthood due to the Great Depression in 1929 to 1939. However, these financial barriers exhibited throughout the book represent Seaborg’s ability to succeed in the …show more content…
Hamilton needed a radioisotope that had a half-life long enough to be made useful in the human body, one that was about a week. Seaborg and his long-time friend and partner Jack Livingwood used targets of tellurium and bombarded it with deuterons and some with neutrons to reveal iodine 131, which had a half-life of eight days. (talk about iodine 131’s importance). In Seaborg’s life, the meaning of this element held major importance due to its aid in his mother’s cure of hyperthyroidism. Seaborg and Jack also discovered cobalt 60, which is also a critical medical isotope. Cobalt 60 emits gamma radiation which in turn focuses directly on cancer cells to destroy it. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans have had their cancers treated by cobalt-60 irradiation, and it is also used to sterilize medical products and equipment” (36). Shortly later, Seaborg and David Graham, his fellow graduate classmate, borrowed their professors radium-beryllium neutron source to disprove a theory reported by a Japanese scientist named Seishi Kikuchi. They concluded that the neutrons involved were colliding with a nucleus rather than electrons. In fact, the Japanese scientist acknowledged their results and sent a letter apologizing for their mistake. Professor Lewis was an intelligent and well respected professor, who students and other staff members tended to be intimidated by. …show more content…
Together, they broadened the definition of acids and bases. Bases were now elements that included any molecule that could donate an electron to be shared. Consequently, A Lewis base is any species that donates a pair of electrons to a Lewis acid to form a Lewis adduct. Throughout their work with acids and bases, Lewis taught Seaborg the research method of breaking a big project into small parts; which he later used in the Manhattan Project. Before his research assistantship expired, he began instructing in the chemistry department in 1939. In working with Emilio Segré in Berkley’s Radiation Lab, he and Seaborg collaborates on research into the isotopes of element 43. They discovered in return, an isotope that had an interesting radioactive decay pattern, emitting intense, short-lived gamma rays known as technetium 99. Technetium is now a major factor in nuclear medicine in its use of diagnostic imaging involving thyroid, bone, liver, spleen, lung, brain, kidney, and cardiovascular disordered. However, these medical uses did not appear until much later. Ernest Lawrence, the inventor of the cyclotron, played a

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