Lawrence Glendenin was a research assistant in the Chemistry Division at the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory (“Met Lab”) during the Manhattan Project. He was one of the co-discoverers of Promethium.
In 1942, Glendenin joined the Met Lab as a research chemist. His group’s main focus was the chemical separation, identification, and characterization of the radioactive properties of elements involved in nuclear fission.
In 1945, Glendenin along with Jacob Marinsky and Charles Coryell isolated Promethium, the sixty-first element on the periodic table, while working at Oak Ridge. Promethium is a radioactive element and by-product of uranium-based fission.
After reviewing and debating the Szilard Petition, Glendenin was one of many scientists and workers to sign a similar petition at Oak Ridge.
Lawrence Elgin Glendenin was born in 1918 in Bay City, Michigan. In 1941, he graduated from the University of Chicago.
In 1949, he received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology (MIT). After graduating from MIT, Glendenin became a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. He held that position until retiring in 1985.
Glendenin served as the Scientific Secretary of the U.S. delegation to the Atoms for Peace Conference. In 1974, he was awarded the Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry from the American Chemical Society
At the age of ninety, Lawrence Elgin Glendenin died on November 22, 2008 in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
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