Tag Archives: nuclear fission

Today’s Birthday: IDA NODDACK (1896)

Ida Noddack (1896)

One of the first prominent female chemists in Germany, Noddack was nominated several times for a Nobel Prize but never won. Still, she made a number of remarkable contributions to science, co-discovering the element rhenium with her future husband and proposing for the first time the idea of nuclear fission. She also participated in the discovery of another element, which her team named masurium, but they could not prove its existence. It was finally isolated by others in 1937 and named what? More… Discuss


This day in the Yesteryear: Chemical Element Meitnerium Is Synthesized (1982)

Chemical Element Meitnerium Is Synthesized (1982)

In 1982, a German research team led by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg at the Institute for Heavy Ion Research created a new element. While bombarding bismuth-209 atoms with iron-58 ions, they detected a single atom of what is now called meitnerium. Its atomic number is 109. The artificially-produced, radioactive element is named for Lise Meitner, the Austrian-Swedish physicist and mathematician who helped discover nuclear fission. What was its original name? More… Discuss




Demon Core Goes Critical (1945)

The Demon Core was a plutonium core—used in nuclear testing at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico—so nicknamed because it resulted in the deaths of two scientists in separate accidents. In 1945, Harry Daghlian accidentally dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto the core, causing it to go “critical,” or achieve a chain reaction of nuclear fission. Daghlian stopped the reaction, but died from radiation poisoning a month later. What happened to the second scientist nine months later? More… Discuss