International Year of the Periodic Table

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is credited with discovering 16 elements on the periodic table, more than any other institution. Ernest Orlando Lawrence built the first circular particle accelerator, which he referred to as his “proton merry-go-round” but which would later become known as the cyclotron, in Berkeley in 1930. It was a pie-shaped concoction of glass, sealing wax, and bronze. But over the years the cyclotrons became larger and more powerful. These became essential tools in creating heavier and heavier artificial elements.

Today Berkeley Lab continues to actively study the heaviest artificially created elements – the so-called “superheavies,” such as moscovium (115) and rutherfordium (104) – using new tools and capabilities to investigate their fundamental properties.

And Berkeley Lab researchers are among the few in the world studying heavy elements such as berkelium, californium, and curium. The Heavy Element Chemistry Program also studies the effects of heavy element exposure and contamination on different biological systems with the goal of developing strategies for decontamination, remediation, and separation.

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Share Your Favorite Periodic Table Element with Us!

Do you have a thing for manganese, molybdenum, or some other element? We want to hear about it! Make a video and post it using #MyFaveElement.

Video guidelines:

  1. Tell us why it’s your favorite, and as you see it, how it is most useful to the world.
  2. Keep it simple: Use your smartphone to shoot your video. Remember, high-res is always best!
  3. Keep it to <60 seconds.
  4. Post the video to your personal social media channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) using #MyFaveElement or share it with us via email at

If video isn’t your thing, you’re welcome to express your favorite in a text-based post that can include a photo, illustration, or animation. If you have any other content planned around #IYPT2019 or #MyFaveElement please let us know so we can share it via the @BerkeleyLab social media channels.