LLNL's heavy element scientists along with colleagues from Oak Ridge National Laboratory earlier this year won the first annual Gordon Battelle Prize for Scientific Discovery. LLNL team members include: Ken Moody, Dawn Shaughnessy, Roger Henderson, Sarah Nelson and Philip Wilk (all from the Chemical Sciences Division), as well as Mark Stoyer from the Physics Division.
The team members received a framed medallion and a $5,000 education grant to be given to the school of their choice (K-12 or higher). The Livermore group chose Livermore High because several of the members had, have, or will have children attend that school.
The heavy element team's research expanded the periodic table by discovering element 117 and the understanding of the properties of nuclei at extreme number of protons and neutrons. The discovery was voted one of the five most significant discoveries that have occurred in Battelle's contract research work or at any of the laboratories where Battelle plays a significant management role. The work was published in Physical Review Letters in April 2010.
In addition to Livermore and Oak Ridge, the collaboration included scientists from the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (Dubna, Russia), the Research Institute for Advanced Reactors (Dimitrovgrad), Vanderbilt University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Five prizes were awarded in each of two categories: Scientific Discovery and Innovation Impact.