Monday, August 2

Einsteinium, the element named after Einstein whose secrets scientists are beginning to elucidate

  • Robert A. Jackson
  • *The Conversation



In 1961, nine years after it was discovered, researchers were able to synthesize this element on the periodic table.

A century ago, a German physicist named Albert Einstein revolutionized the scientific world with his discovery of the photoelectric effect, which proved that light is both a particle and a wave.

Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his work, Einstein would later contribute to theories related to nuclear fission and fusion, something that could have paved the way for the invention and detonation of nuclear weapons, as well as the nuclear energy.

So when elements previously unknown to science were discovered in the chemical remnants of a nuclear explosion 69 years ago, it made sense for scientists to name what they found after the great physicist, adding “einsteinium” to the periodic table.

Now, 100 years after Einstein won the Nobel Prize, scientists were finally able to observe the chemical behavior of this elusive highly radioactive element. What they learned could help scientists further expand our understanding of the periodic table, including elements that have not yet been added.

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