Adventures in the Atomic Age : From Watts to Washington

by Glenn T. Seaborg, Eric Seaborg

Reviewed October 16, 2001

Book CoverFor those who don't know who Glenn Seaborg was, he was the key scientist involved with the discovery of plutonium. Glenn Seaborg's life and career are as interesting as they are distinguished. The son of poor Swedish immigrants, he barely scraped enough money together to attend the University of California, Berkeley, during the Depression. He knew little of the academic world, but his love of science and discovery carried him to a Ph.D. and a Nobel Prize before he was 40. Seaborg led the research team that created nine new elements, including plutonium (used in nuclear reactions), americium (used in smoke detectors), and curium (used in medicine). He also did extensive work with such isotopes such as Cobalt 60, used to treat cancer. Seaborg was honored as the only living person to have an element named after him Element 106, Seaborgium. While chair of the Atomic Energy Commission, he also helped negotiate the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.