Radioactive materials play an important role in our lives. Some of the electricity you use comes from a nuclear power plant which uses them. Radio-isotopes are used in many medical applications. But did you know that once used, radioactive substances must be disposed off carefully?
You'll have seen or read in the news about how some countries are trying to develop nuclear weapons, and how some countries are trying to stop them. The element uranium lies below all of this fuss, so let's try to understand its chemistry.
Glenn Seaborg was born in Ishpeming, Michigan on April 19th, 1912. He was an American scientist who had a Scottish lineage. He won the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1951 for his many discoveries in the field of Transuranium metals. He has many things named after him from the element Seaborgium to an asteroid called 4856 Seaborg.
Frederic Joliot-Curie and Irene Joliot-Curie were both French scientists. Husband and wife, they were jointly awarded Nobel laureates in 1935 for their joint discovery of new radioactive isotopes which they prepared artificially. They are also known for their contribution towards the discovery of the neutron.
Francis William Aston won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering isotopes by conducting mass spectrograph of isotopes. He conducted this research in a large amount of non-radioactive elements. He is also remembered for his whole-number rule.
We owe a lot of our understanding of the field of isotopes to Harold Urey, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1934. Urey also contributed to building the atom bomb and notably the development of organic life from non-living matter.
If you know someone who has cancer, they might probably have gone for a PET scan to find out how much the cancer has developed. PET scans make uses of radioisotopes. Their use in medicine was pioneered by Hevesy Gyorgy.
Irene Joliot-Curie and Frederic Joliot Curie jointly discovered artificial radioactivity. These isotopes rapidly became important tools in biomedical research and in the treatment of cancer and related diseases.