Lawrencium, element 103, was first synthesized in 1961 by a team led by Albert Ghiorso at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (now the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) at the University of California, Berkeley. The discovery was announced on 12 April 1961, and a UPI wire service announcement was widely carried by newspapers over the next few days:
They have suggested that the new element 103 be named Lawrencium with the chemical symbol LW in honor of the late Ernest C. [sic] Lawrence, Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the cyclotron and founder of the laboratory.1
Lawrence’s middle initial is actually O. Originally, the chemical symbol Lw was used to denote the element, but this was changed to Lr in 1963.
1”A-Scientists Find New Element,” Oxnard (California) Press-Courier, 12 April 1961, p. 8.
Copyright 1997-2015, by David Wilton