Dawn Shaughnessy, a nuclear chemist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, was interested in all things science ever since she was a little girl. With her first electronics kit she wanted to be an engineer. Her first microscope inspired a new love for biology and a desire to become a doctor. But it was with her first chemistry set that she found her true calling. “In chemistry, we can take two things that are completely different, and mix them togther, and come up with a brand new compound,” says Shaughnessy. “I was hooked forever.”
In this latest Science on Saturday program, Shaughnessy gives students a closer look at the Periodic Table of elements from the lightest element, Hydrogen, to the heaviest, naturally occurring element, Uranium. She also discusses how new elements are being formed using high-energy particle accelerators that enable scientists to create even heavier elements extending the Periodic Table of Elements up to element 118. And not to be forgotten, Shaughnessy talks about element 116, Livermorium, named in honor of the scientists and research from LLNL since its discovery.
To learn more from other fantastic women in science, visit our Women in Science video collection.