Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY™
Find science on or your birthday



107
Stories About Chemistry

INDEX

42.  On the Brink of the Unknown

   When it will happen nobody knows. But it certainly will. Man will score a great victory over nature, perhaps the greatest in all history.

   He will learn to control radioactivity. He will be able to make the unstable elements stable, and vice versa, he will be able to make the most stable nuclei decay.

  This hypothesis has not yet been taken up even by science fiction writers. And scientists also still shrug their shoulders in bewilderment: so far they can see no practical or theoretical ways of harnessing radioactive phenomena. 

   But we are confident that some day such ways will be found, though they may be as unfathomable to us as an atomic power station would be to a pithecanthrope, to use the apt expression of the author of a science fiction book.

   Now let us suppose our wish has come true. The synthesis of super-heavy elements is no longer a problem. The scientist has at his disposal dozens of new inhabitants of the Big House. The chemists get down to studying them in an all-out drive. And come face to face with the unexpected. 

   On second thought, "unexpected" is hardly the right word, because we already now know what to expect.

   Can we predict the properties of, say, the element with the atomic number 126, mentioned above? We can, and with no great difficulty.  





who invites your feedback

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.