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"Discovering elements in the age of radioactivity – two contrasting stories" by Annette Lykknes and Brigitte Van Tiggelen
Giovedì 23 Maggio 2024, 17:00
Visite : 233
The next on-line seminar of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry will be given by Professor Annette Lykknes (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and Dr Brigitte Van Tiggelen (Science History Institute) who will present:
 

Discovering elements in the age of radioactivity – two contrasting stories


This will be live on Thursday, 23 May 2024, beginning at 5.00pm BST (6.00pm CEST, 12 noon EST, 9.00am PST). The format will be a talk of 20-30 minutes, followed by a moderated discussion of half an hour.


As with recent seminars the Zoom link can be freely accessed by anyone, member of SHAC or not, by booking through the following Ticket Source link:

https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/society-for-the-history-of-alchemy-and-chemistry/t-rpdojdx. Click or tap if you trust this link." data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/society-for-the-history-of-alchemy-and-chemistry/t-rpdojdx&source=gmail&ust=1716301703715000&usg=AOvVaw1JwhDSkOMjz2Ln4bi0hNrH">https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/society-for-the-history-of-alchemy-and-chemistry/t-rpdojdx

The seminar will be also accessible live on YouTube at https://youtube.com/live/D1w48_ba2tU. Click or tap if you trust this link." data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://youtube.com/live/D1w48_ba2tU&source=gmail&ust=1716301703715000&usg=AOvVaw0n4qqUpdhKhRGFe8BfIUOl">https://youtube.com/live/D1w48_ba2tU

Most previous on-line seminars can be found on the SHAC YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/SocietyforHistoryofAlchemyandChemistry

Discovering elements in the age of radioactivity – two contrasting stories

Annette Lykknes and Brigitte Van Tiggelen

In a forthcoming edited volume on the nature of element discoveries the authors explore the discovery histories of selected chemical elements. The case studies presented allow to problematize and explore the unfolding of discoveries, how they are reported and what stage is considered as the discovery as well as how predictions and assumptions on what could exist shape these processes in scientific and historical practice. In this talk, we will present two contrasting stories from the context of radioactivity research.

The first one is what might be considered as well-known discovery histories, namely those of radium and polonium, the very first new radioactive elements uncovered by Marie and Pierre Curie. But the new radioactive elements proposed by the Curies had not even been separated from the mineral fractions in which they were detected, and the main means of their identification was neither the balance nor the spectroscope which were the accepted ways of detecting elements but rather their characteristic and unique radioactivity.

The second story looks at retrospective assessment and assignment of elemental discoveries, focusing on four claimed instances of element 43, before it was produced by nuclear means with a cyclotron and acknowledged by IUPAC and the chemical community as technetium in 1947. Going back in time, historians and scientists identify several “precursors” of technetium and a closer look at masurium, nihonium, davyum and ilmenium provide an opportunity to reflect further on the nature of discovery by taking into account the context of narration.