In this highly interesting book, three pioneering investigators provide an account of the discovery and investigation of the nuclear and chemical properties of the twenty presently known transuranium elements. The neutron irradiation of uranium led to the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938 and then to the first transuranium element, neptunium (atomic number 93), in 1940. Plutonium (94) quickly followed and the next nine elements completed the actinide series by 1961. Investigation of the chemical properties of the actinides was followed more recently by chemical studies of the first three transactinides - rutherfordium (104), hahnium (105), and seaborgium (106). Recent discoveries have extended the known elements to 112.
Neptunium and plutonium; the plutonium people; Americium and curium; berkelium and californium; the "big bang" - discovery of einsteinium and fermium; mendelevium; nobelium and lawrencium; rutherfordium and hahnium; seaborgium; bohrium (107), hassium (108) and meitnerium (109); elements 110, 111 and 112; naming controversies and the Transfermium Working Group; searches for the superheavy elements; reflections and predictions.