Edwin McMillan, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1951

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Edwin McMillan, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1951

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Redondo Beach, CA, USA
Death: Died in El Cerrito, CA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Dr. Edwin Harbaugh McMillan and Anne Marie McMillan
Husband of Elsie Walford Blumer and Elsie Walford McMillan
Father of <private> Bradford (McMillan); <private> Mattison (McMillan) and <private> Walker (McMillan)

Occupation: Professor of physics. Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1951
Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Edwin McMillan, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1951

Edwin Mattison McMillan (September 18, 1907 – September 7, 1991) was an American physicist and nuclear chemist, and Nobel laureate. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Glenn Seaborg in 1951, "for their discoveries in the chemistry of the transuranium elements".

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From Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1942-1962, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1964:


Edwin Mattison McMillan was born on 18th September, 1907, at Redondo Beach, California. He is the son of Dr. Edwin Harbaugh McMillan, a physician, and his wife, Anne Marie McMillan, née Mattison, who both came from the State of Maryland and were both of English and Scottish descent. The boy spent his early years in Pasadena, California, and obtained his education in that state.

McMillan attended the California Institute of Technology, obtaining a B.Sc. degree in 1928, and taking his M.Sc. degree a year later, then transferring to Princeton University for Ph.D. in 1932. The same year he entered the University of California at Berkeley as a National Research Fellow. The thesis he submitted for Ph.D. was in the field of molecular beams, and the problem he undertook as a National Research Fellow was the measurement of the magnetic moment of the proton by a molecular beam method. After two years on this work and one as a research associate he became a Staff Member of the Radiation Laboratory under Professor E.O. Lawrence, studying nuclear reactions and their products, and helping in the design and construction of cyclotrons and other equipment, and a member of the Faculty in the Department of Physics at Berkely, being appointed Instructor in 1935, Assistant Professor in 1936, Associate Professor, 1941, and Professor in 1946.

During the Second World War, McMillan was on leave from November, 1940, to September, 1945, engaged on national defence research, serving (1940-1941) in the Radiation Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; (1941-1942) U. S. Navy Radio and Sound Laboratory, San Diego; (1942-1945) Manhattan District, Los Alamos.

It was during 1945 that he had the idea of "phase stability" which led to the development of the synchroton and synchro-cyclotron; these machines have already extended the energies of artificially accelerated particles into the region of hundreds of MeV and have made possible many important researches.

McMillan returned to the University of California Radiation Laboratory as Associate Director from 1954-1958, when he was raised to Deputy Director and finally Director, in the same year.

In 1951 he received the 1950 Research Corporation Scientific Award, and in 1963 he shared the Atoms for Peace Award with Professor V. I. Veksler.

Professor McMillan is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and from 1954-1958 he served on the General Advisory Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission. In 1960 he was appointed to the Commission on High Energy Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

An honorary doctorate in science was awarded to him by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1961, and by Gustavus Adolphus College in 1963.

While serving in the Faculty of Physics at Berkeley, McMillan married Elsie Walford Blumer, a daughter of Dr. George Blumer, Dean Emeritus of the Yale Medical School. There are three children of the marriage - Ann Bradford (1943), David Mattison (1945) and Stephen Walker (1949).

-------------------- Edwin Mattison McMillan (September 18, 1907 – September 7, 1991) was an American physicist and Nobel laureate credited with being the first ever to produce a transuranium element. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Glenn Seaborg in 1951.[1]

Contents

   1 Biography
   2 References
   3 Publications
   4 External links

Biography

McMillan was born in Redondo Beach, California, but his family moved to Pasadena the following year. He attended some of the public lectures at the California Institute of Technology as a high school student and began his studies there in 1924. He did a research project with Linus Pauling as an undergraduate and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1928 and his Master of Science degree in 1929, both from the California Institute of Technology.

He then took his Doctor of Philosophy from Princeton University in 1932 for the thesis: "Deflection of a Beam of HCI Molecules in a Non-Homogeneous Electric Field" under the supervision of Edward Condon.

He joined the group of Ernest Lawrence at the University of California, Berkeley upon receiving his doctorate, moving to the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory when it was founded at Berkeley in 1934.

His experimental skills lead to the discovery of oxygen-15 with M. Stanley Livingston and beryllium-10 with Samuel Ruben.

In 1940 he and Philip Abelson created neptunium, while conducting a fission experiment of uranium-239 with neutrons, using the cyclotron at Berkeley. The newly found isotope of neptunium was created by absorption of neutron into the uranium-239 and a subsequent beta decay. McMillan understood the underlying principle of the reaction and started to bombard the uranium-239 with deuterium to create the element 93. He moved to the radar research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Glenn T. Seaborg finished the work.

In World War II, he was involved in research on radar at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sonar near San Diego, and about November 1942 was recruited to the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory, being involved in the initial selection of Los Alamos and in implosion research.

After World War II, he rejoined the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, and became head of the institute after the death of Ernest Lawrence in 1958.

In 1945, independently of Vladimir Veksler's 1944 work, he developed ideas for the improvement of the cyclotron, leading to the development of the synchrotron. The synchrotron was used to create new elements at Berkeley Radiation Laboratory extending the periodic system of elements far beyond the 92 elements known before 1940.

With Glenn T. Seaborg, he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1951 for "discoveries in the chemistry of the transuranium elements." This medal is currently held at the National Museum of American History, a division of The Smithsonian.[2]

In 1946, he became a full professor at Berkeley, and in 1954 he was appointed associate director of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, being promoted to director in 1958, where he stayed until his retirement in 1973.

He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1947, serving as its chairman from 1968 to 1971. He received the Atoms for Peace Award in 1963 (with Vladimir Veksler). References

   Lofgren, Edward J.; Abelson, Philip H.; Helmolz, A. Carl (February 1992). "Obituary: Edwin M. McMillan". Physics Today 45 (2): 118–119. doi:10.1063/1.2809550.
   "Nobel Prize Medal in Chemistry". National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
   Nobel Foundation (1951). "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1951". Les Prix Nobel. Retrieved 2007-09-20.
   National Museum of American History. "Nobel Prize Medal in Chemistry for Edwin McMillan". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
   LBNL (Fall–Winter 1991). "In Memoriam: Edwin Mattison McMillan". Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Research Review. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
   Glenn T. Seaborg (1993). "Biographical Memoirs: Edwin Mattison McMillan (18 September 1907-7 September 1991)". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 137 (2): 286–291. JSTOR 986736.
   Lawrence Badash, J.O. Hirschfelder, H.P. Broida, eds., Reminiscences of Los Alamos 1943–1945 (Studies in the History of Modern Science), Springer, 1980, ISBN 90-277-1098-8.

Publications

   McMillan, E. M."Focusing in Linear Accelerators", University of California Radiation Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (August 24, 1950).
   McMillan, E. M."A Thick Target for Synchrotrons and Betatrons", University of California Radiation Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (September 19, 1950).
   McMillan, E. M."The Transuranium Elements: Early History (Nobel Lecture)", University of California Radiation Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (December 12, 1951).
   McMillan, E. M."Notes on Quadrupole Focusing", University of California Radiation Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (February 9, 1956).
   McMillan, E. M."Some Thoughts on Stability in Nonlinear Periodic Focusing Systems", University of California Radiation Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (September 5, 1967).
   McMillan, E. M."Some Thoughts on Stability in Nonlinear Periodic Focusing Systems [Addendum]", University of California Radiation Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (March 29, 1968).
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Edwin McMillan, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1951's Timeline

1907
September 18, 1907
Redondo Beach, CA, USA
1991
September 7, 1991
Age 83
El Cerrito, CA, USA
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