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In the 1800s, Royal Institution professors were the first to identify 10 chemical elements. Today there are 118 in our current periodic table. But how did the likes of Humphry Davy discover elements in the early 19th Century? In the 20th Century, after all the naturally occurring elements had been identified, how have scientists created new super-heavy elements? And are there more elements to be created? Join writer Philip Ball, historian Frank James and nuclear chemist Christoph Dullmann to celebrate International Year of the Periodic Table.
He is a professor of the History of Science and Head of Collections at the Royal Institution.
He studied at Imperial College where he received his PhD for a thesis on the development of spectroscopy in the nineteenth century. After a year at the Institute of Education, he joined the Royal Institution to establish its history of science activities. In 1998 he was appointed Head of Collections and Heritage and was appointed Professor of History of Science in 2004.
His main research has been editing the Correspondence of Michael Faraday which is now complete in six volumes. He is currently writing a book on Humphry Davy’s practical work, having always had a strong interest in the relations of science with other areas of society and culture, such as the military, art (where he co-authored a book on the National Gallery), religion and technology.
He has been president of Newcomen Society for the History of Engineering and Technology, the British Society for the History of Science and the History of Science Selection of the British Science Association. He was Chair of the National Organising Committee for the XXIVth International Congress for the History of Science and Technology held in Manchester in July 2013.
Christoph E. Dullmann
He is professor of Nuclear at Johannes Gutenburg University (JGU) Mainz and head of the research sections Super-heavy Element Chemistry at GSI Helmholtzzentrum Darmstadt and Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), Germany.
He studied chemistry at University of Bern, Switzerland, where he received he PhD for the first chemical study of element 108, hassium. He then spent about three years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkely, CA, USA, to establish methods to study novel compound classes of the super-heavy elements, before joining GSI Darmstadt. Since 2010, he holds a joint professorship at JGU Mainz and GSI Darmstadt. In 2015/16, he was visiting scientist at Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, to study processes governing the successful synthesis of heaviest elements.
His main research activities include the production of super-heavy elements and their nuclear stability, as well as the gas phase chemical study of these elements and their compounds. He is also involved in a variety of collaborative efforts in various areas of fundamental physics, to which his group provides tailor – made samples of chemically purified radioisotopes.
He is a principle investigator at JGU Mainz in the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence of the German Excellence Initiative as well as the chair Nuclear Chemistry division of the German Chemical Society (GDCh).
The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7pm.