Albert Ghiorso

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Albert Ghiorso
Albert Ghiorso
Albert Ghiorso around 1970
Birthday/Birthplace July 15, 1915
Vallejo, California, U.S.
Deceased December 26, 2010(2010-12-26)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Citizenship American
Credit for Chemical element discoveries
Awards Won 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award (Radiochemistry Society), The Potts Medal (Franklin Institute), G. D. Searle and Co. Award (American Chemical Society), Honorary Doctorate (Gustavus Adolphus College), Fellow (American Academy of Arts and Sciences), Fellow (American Physical Society), Guinness Book of World Records (Most Elements Discovered)
Scientific career
Fields Nuclear science
Institutions Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Albert Ghiorso (July 15, 1915 – December 26, 2010) was an American nuclear scientist who helped discover many chemical elements in the periodic table.

Albert Ghiorso’s Biography

First years

He was born in Vallejo (California) and grew up in Alameda County (California). As a teenager, he built radio circuits and gained a reputation for establishing radio contacts at distances that surpassed the military. Albert Einstein was his scientific idol.

He received his BS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1937. After graduating, he worked for a company that produces emergency communication devices, and invented the first commercial Geiger counter, which led to his participation in the Manhattan Project.

He was introduced to Glenn T. Seaborg through a mutual friendship between his wives, who also worked as secretaries, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (Similarly, Helen Griggs Seaborg was the secretary of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, when she met Glenn Seaborg.)


Seaborg and Ghiorso were the most successful collaboration in the early days of the cyclotron, when their results were difficult to identify and detect. His work resulted in many elements that were discovered at UC Berkeley, and Ghiorso has the merit of having co-discovered the following elements:

  • Americio in 1945 (item 95)
  • Curio in 1944 (item 96)
  • Berkelio in 1949 (item 97)
  • Californium in 1950 (element 98)
  • Einsteinium in 1952 (element 99)
  • Fermio in 1953 (element 100)
  • Mendelevio in 1955 (item 101)
  • Nobelio in 1958-59 (item 102)
  • Lawrencio in 1961 (item 103)
  • Rutherfordio in 1969 (item 104)
  • Dubnio in 1970 (element 105)
  • Seaborgium in 1974 (item 106)

Before the controversy over the discovery of element # 118 in 2000, the name Ghiorsium was proposed by his colleagues.

More Facts about Albert Ghiorso

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