Lawrence Livermore Radiochemist Ken Moody named AAAS fellow

Dec. 19, 2013

Ken Moody, a radiochemist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been awarded the distinction of fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). (Download Image)

Lawrence Livermore Radiochemist Ken Moody named AAAS fellow

Anne M Stark,, 925-422-9799
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Ken Moody has been awarded the distinction of fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers to recognize distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. This year, AAAS awarded 388 members with this honor.

Moody, a chief scientist for radiochemistry, was one of the 40 fellows elected in the chemistry category.

Moody is a 27-year Lab employee who joined the Heavy Element Group in 1985 and has been a critical member of the team that discovered six new elements -- 113 through 118.

In addition, he has added more than 40 new isotopes to the chart of nuclides. Trained under Glenn Seaborg, Moody has dedicated his career to the scientific advancement of radio- and nuclear chemistry for the scientific and programmatic communities.

In addition, Moody is one of the creators of the discipline of nuclear forensics, and applications of radiochemistry to national security and law enforcement problems.

Moody's dive into heavy element work has been a lifelong quest to tackle the uncharted "Island of Stability." Chemists have long predicted the existence of an "Island of Stability" at the outer bounds of the periodic table, where super-heavy elements live for milliseconds, minutes or even years amid a sea of oddly short-lived nuclei.

He initially worked in the underground nuclear testing program at the Laboratory until the test ban in 1992. After the test ban, he tapped into nuclear forensic analysis. At the same time, he was pursuing new superheavy elements.

In superheavy element work, Moody came into his own with the Livermore group. He soon started collaborating with a similar group in Dubna, Russia. In 2009, he earned the The American Chemical Society Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology's Glenn T. Seaborg award for his work in heavy elements and nuclear forensics.

His awards are numerous: The first prize of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna; R&D 100 award for "The Gamma Watermark" technology; Popular Science "Best of What's New" Award for element 114; Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry of the American Chemical Society for discovering five elements and more than 30 isotopes and developing nuclear forensics; 2010 Gordon Battelle Prize for Scientific Discovery for the discovery of element 117 along with collaborators from LLNL and ORNL.

In 2012, Moody was named a Lawrence Livermore Distinguished Member of Technical Staff for his extraordinary scientific and technical contributions to the Laboratory and its missions as acknowledged by his professional peers and the larger community.

New AAAS fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Fellows Forum during the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.