150th Chemistry

Lester Andrews (Ph.D. ’66, Chem) reminisces about his experience in George Pimentel’s lab

October 1, 2021

George Pimentel, 1960sGeorge Pimentel in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Pimentel.

In 1963, the last Sunday in September, I flew from my home in Starkville, Mississippi to SFO and took ground transportation to the I-House where I would live for three semesters. Qualifying exams were given the next day, Monday, and on Tuesday we were given the results and told to interview...

Berkeley Chemistry: 1868 to the Present

Original Chemistry Building 1897 between mining and the library

First dedicated chemistry building (in the middle) between the first mining building on the left and the library on the right; c. 1897 photo by William Letts Oliver, or his son. courtesy Bancroft Library.

Chemistry has been part of Berkeley...

Edward Booth

June 1, 2021

Born July 1857; died August 24, 1917, in California. Married Robina McArthur Brodie (Canadian) born March 1862. Daughter Jean born Sept 1886. Marriage Jan 1885, North Georgetown, Quebec, Canada.

Graduated from UC Berkeley with a PhB. in 1877.

From 1877 until 1880 he was an instructor at the College. In 1880 he became a Chemist and Assistant State Mineralogist in the California State Mining Bureau. Later he was the Assayer and Assistant Superintendent of a reduction works at Auburn, Placer county. He engaged in private practice as a chemist and as an engineer.

He left...

The cyclotron's history at Berkeley

July 22, 2021

Ernest O. Lawrence, Glenn T. Seaborg, and J. Robert Oppenheimer in early 1946 at the controls to the magnet of the 184-inch cyclotron

(l to r) Physicist Robert Oppenheimer, chemist Glenn Seaborg and, physicist Ernest Lawrence in 1946 at the control panel of the...

Joel Henry Hildebrand

March 19, 2020

Hildebrand, Joel Henry

By Kenneth S. Pitzer, D. H. McLaughlin, G. C. Pimentel, and J. M. Prausnitz

Joel Henry Hildebrand (b. November 16, 1881, d. April 30, 1983) was born in Camden, New Jersey. His ancestors came to America before the revolution from the upper Rhine valley. When asked about his longevity, Joel replied, “I chose my...

John Gofman: Medical school to nuclear chemistry at UC Berkeley

August 5, 2021

Excerpt from "John ‘Jack’ Gofman. Researcher and Social Activist. ‘Fair-haired Boy’ and ‘Enemy Within’" American Journal of Cardiology,

John Gofman at Berkeley Lab

John Gofman circa 1950 at the...

In Memoriam: Alumna Marjorie (Young) Vold

August 3, 2021

Alums Marjorie Young Vold and Robert Vold

Alumni Robert Vold (Ph.D. '35, Chem) and Marjorie Vold née Young (Ph.D. '36, Chem). Unknown photographer and date. Photo courtesy Tom Aiken.

Marjorie Jean Young (1913 – 1991) was born in Ottawa, Ontario...

In honor of Ahmed Zewail (1946-2016)

August 8, 2016

Charles Harris with Ahmed Zewail (left to right)To appreciate the magnitude of the advance that Zewail introduced to chemistry, one has to ponder the minuteness of the time intervals that he could routinely employ with his special lasers: a femtosecond is a millionth of a billionth of a second. It is one second divided by ten to the power of fifteen.

In memoriam: Alum Harvey Itano and the journey to sickle cell research

July 13, 2021

Harvey Itano photographed by Dorethea Lange

Image: Harvey Akio Itano, 21, 1942 graduate from the University of California where he received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree. He was chosen by the faculty as University Medalist for 1942 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. Mr. Itano went to the Japanese Assembly center prior to...