Saturday, February 1, 2014

This Day in Science History - February 1 - Emilio Segré


February 1st is Emilio Segré's birthday. Segré was an Italian physicist who discovered the first artificial element. He was visiting the University of California, Berkeley's radiation laboratory when he was given a sample of molybdenum that had been a target in the University's cyclotron that appeared to emit radiation from an unknown source. Segré identified the source of the radiation as an unknown element. The new element was named technetium after the artificial method it was created.

Segré also discovered the element astatine and co-discovered the antiproton with Owen Chamberlain. The discovery of the antiproton would earn both men the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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