György Károly Hevesy
1 August 1885
|Died||5 July 1966 80) (aged|
|Alma mater||University of Freiburg|
|Spouse(s)||Pia Riis (m. 1924; 4 children)|
|Awards|| Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1943)|
Copley Medal (1949)
Faraday Lectureship Prize (1950)
Atoms for Peace Award (1958)
Fellow of the Royal Society
|Institutions|| Ghent University |
University of Budapest
Niels Bohr Institute
University of Freiburg
University of Manchester
Stefan Meyer Institute for Subatomic Physics
|Doctoral advisor||Georg Franz Julius Meyer|
George Charles de Hevesy (German : Georg Karl von Hevesy; 1 August 1885 – 5 July 1966) was a Hungarian radiochemist and Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate, recognized in 1943 for his key role in the development of radioactive tracers to study chemical processes such as in the metabolism of animals. He also co-discovered the element hafnium.
Hevesy György was born in Budapest, Hungary to a wealthy and ennobled family of Hungarian-Jewish descent,the fifth of eight children to his parents Lajos Bischitz and Baroness Eugénia (Jenny) Schossberger (ennobled as "De Tornya"). Grandparents from both sides of the family had provided the presidents of the Jewish community of Pest. His parents converted to Roman Catholicism. George grew up in Budapest and graduated high school in 1903 from Piarista Gimnázium. The family's name in 1904 was Hevesy-Bischitz, and Hevesy later changed his own.
De Hevesy began his studies in chemistry at the University of Budapest for one year, and at the Technical University of Berlin for several months, but transferred to the University of Freiburg. There he met Ludwig Gattermann. In 1906 he started his Ph.D. thesis with Georg Franz Julius Meyer,acquiring his doctorate in physics in 1908. In 1908 Hevesy was offered a position at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland, yet being independently wealthy, he was able to choose his research environment. In succession he worked with Fritz Haber in Karlsruhe, Germany, then with Ernest Rutherford in Manchester, England, where he also met Niels Bohr. Back at home in Budapest he was appointed professor in physical chemistry in 1918. In 1920 he settled in Copenhagen.
In 1922 de Hevesy co-discovered (with Dirk Coster) the element hafnium (72Hf) (Latin Hafnia for "Copenhagen", the home town of Niels Bohr). Mendeleev's 1869 periodic table arranged the chemical elements into a logical system, but a chemical element with 72 protons was missing. Hevesy determined to look for that element on the basis of Bohr's atomic model. The mineralogical museum of Norway and Greenland in Copenhagen furnished the material for the research. Characteristic X-ray spectra recordings made of the sample indicated that a new element was present. The accepted account has been disputed by Mansel Davies and Eric Scerri who attribute the prediction that element 72 would be a transition element to the chemist Charles Bury.[ citation needed ]
Supported financially by the Rockefeller Foundation, Hevesy had a very productive year. He developed the X-ray fluorescence analytical method, and discovered the samarium alpha-ray. It was here he began the use of radioactive isotopes in studying the metabolic processes of plants and animals, by tracing chemicals in the body by replacing part of stable isotopes with small quantities of the radioactive isotopes. In 1923, Hevesy published the first study on the use of the naturally radioactive 212Pb as radioactive tracer to follow the absorption and translocation in the roots, stems and leaves of Vicia faba, also known as the broad bean.Later, in 1943, the work on radioactive tracing would earn Hevesy the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
In 1924 Hevesy returned to Freiburg as Professor of Physical Chemistry, and in 1930 went to Cornell University, Ithaca as Baker Lecturer. Four years later he resumed his activities at Niels Bohr's Institute, based there through 1952. During 1943 he was domiciled in Stockholm and was an Associate of the Institute of Research in Organic Chemistry. In 1949 he was elected Franqui Professor in the University of Ghent. In his retirement, he remained an active scientific associate of the University of Stockholm. Hevesy was offered and accepted a job from the University of Freiburg.
When Nazi Germany occupied Denmark during World War II, de Hevesy dissolved the gold Nobel Prize medals of Max von Laue and James Franck in aqua regia. During the occupation, it was illegal to send gold out of the country. If Laue and Franck had done so to protect the medals from being stolen, they could have faced prosecution by the Nazis. De Hevesy placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. After the war, he returned to find the solution undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid. The Nobel Society then recast the Nobel Prize medals using the original gold.
By 1943 Copenhagen was no longer safe for a Jewish scientist and de Hevesy fled to Sweden, where he worked at the Stockholm University College until 1961. In Stockholm de Hevesy was received at the department of chemistry by the Swedish professor and Nobel Prize winner Hans von Euler-Chelpin, who remained strongly pro-German throughout the war. Despite this, de Hevesy and von Euler-Chelpin collaborated on many scientific papers during and after the war.
While he was in Stockholm, de Hevesy received the Nobel Prize in chemistry. He was later inducted into the Royal Society and received the Copley Medal, of which he was particularly proud. De Hevesy stated: "The public thinks the Nobel Prize in chemistry for the highest honor that a scientist can receive, but it is not so. Forty or fifty received Nobel chemistry prizes, but only ten foreign members of the Royal Society and two (Bohr and Hevesy) received a medal-Copley." George de Hevesy was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1942, and his status was later changed to Swedish member. He received the Atoms for Peace Award in 1958 for his peaceful use of radioactive isotopes.
De Hevesy married Pia Riis in 1924. They had one son and three daughters together, one of whom (Eugenie) married a grandson of the Swedish Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius.De Hevesy died in 1966 at the age of eighty and was buried in Freiburg. In 2000, his corpse was transferred to the Kerepesi Cemetery in Budapest, Hungary. He had published a total of 397 scientific documents, one of which was the Becquerel-Curie Memorial Lecture, in which he had reminisced about the careers of pioneers of radiochemistry. At his family's request, his ashes were interred at his birthplace in Budapest on 19 April 2001.
10 May 2005 the Hevesy Laboratory was founded at Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, now Technical University of Denmark, DTU Nutech. It was named after George de Hevesy as the father of the isotope tracer principle by the initiative of the lab's first head Prof. Mikael Jensen.
Aage Niels Bohr was a Danish nuclear physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1975 with Ben Mottelson and James Rainwater "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection". Starting from Rainwater's concept of an irregular-shaped liquid drop model of the nucleus, Bohr and Mottelson developed a detailed theory that was in close agreement with experiments. Since his father, Niels Bohr, had won the prize in 1922, he and his father were one of the six pairs of fathers and sons who have both won the Nobel Prize and one of the four pairs who have both won the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Hafnium is a chemical element with the symbol Hf and atomic number 72. A lustrous, silvery gray, tetravalent transition metal, hafnium chemically resembles zirconium and is found in many zirconium minerals. Its existence was predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, though it was not identified until 1923, by Coster and Hevesy, making it the last stable element to be discovered. Hafnium is named after Hafnia, the Latin name for Copenhagen, where it was discovered.
Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley was an English physicist, whose contribution to the science of physics was the justification from physical laws of the previous empirical and chemical concept of the atomic number. This stemmed from his development of Moseley's law in X-ray spectra.
Lise Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish physicist who contributed to the discoveries of an element protactinium and nuclear fission. While working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute on radioactivity, she discovered protactinium as a radioactive isotope in 1917. Soon after fleeing from Nazi Germany to Sweden in 1938, she and nephew-physicist Otto Robert Frisch discovered nuclear fission. She was praised by Albert Einstein as the "German Marie Curie".
Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr was also a philosopher and a promoter of scientific research.
Otto Hahn was a German chemist and pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry. Hahn is referred to as the father of nuclear chemistry. He discovered radioactive isotopes of radium, thorium, protactinium and uranium. He also discovered the phenomena of radioactive recoil and nuclear isomerism. In 1938, Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discovered nuclear fission, for which Hahn received the 1944 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Nuclear fission was the basis for nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons that were developed by the Manhattan Project during World War II.
Schack August Steenberg Krogh was a Danish professor at the department of zoophysiology at the University of Copenhagen from 1916 to 1945. He contributed a number of fundamental discoveries within several fields of physiology, and is famous for developing the Krogh Principle.
James Franck was a German physicist who won the 1925 Nobel Prize for Physics with Gustav Hertz "for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom". He completed his doctorate in 1906 and his habilitation in 1911 at the Frederick William University in Berlin, where he lectured and taught until 1918, having reached the position of professor extraordinarius. He served as a volunteer in the German Army during World War I. He was seriously injured in 1917 in a gas attack and was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class.
A radioactive tracer, radiotracer, or radioactive label, is a chemical compound in which one or more atoms have been replaced by a radionuclide so by virtue of its radioactive decay it can be used to explore the mechanism of chemical reactions by tracing the path that the radioisotope follows from reactants to products. Radiolabeling or radiotracing is thus the radioactive form of isotopic labeling.
The year 1923 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
Group 4 is a group of elements in the periodic table. It contains the elements titanium (Ti), zirconium (Zr), hafnium (Hf) and rutherfordium (Rf). This group lies in the d-block of the periodic table. The group itself has not acquired a trivial name; it belongs to the broader grouping of the transition metals.
Harold Clayton Urey was an American physical chemist whose pioneering work on isotopes earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1934 for the discovery of deuterium. He played a significant role in the development of the atom bomb, as well as contributing to theories on the development of organic life from non-living matter.
Francis William Aston FRS was an English chemist and physicist who won the 1922 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery, by means of his mass spectrograph, of isotopes in many non-radioactive elements and for his enunciation of the whole number rule. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Ida Noddack, néeTacke, was a German chemist and physicist. In 1934 she was the first to mention the idea later named nuclear fission. With her husband Walter Noddack and Otto Berg she discovered element 75, rhenium. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Dirk Coster, was a Dutch physicist. He was a Professor of Physics and Meteorology at the University of Groningen.
Hilde Levi was a German-Danish physicist. She was a pioneer of the use of radioactive isotopes in biology and medicine, notably the techniques of radiocarbon dating and autoradiography. In later life she became a scientific historian, and published a biography of George de Hevesy.
The discovery of the neutron and its properties was central to the extraordinary developments in atomic physics in the first half of the 20th century. Early in the century, Ernest Rutherford developed a crude model of the atom, based on the gold foil experiment of Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden. In this model, atoms had their mass and positive electric charge concentrated in a very small nucleus. By 1920 chemical isotopes had been discovered, the atomic masses had been determined to be (approximately) integer multiples of the mass of the hydrogen atom, and the atomic number had been identified as the charge on the nucleus. Throughout the 1920s, the nucleus was viewed as composed of combinations of protons and electrons, the two elementary particles known at the time, but that model presented several experimental and theoretical contradictions.
Elizabeth Rona was a Hungarian nuclear chemist, known for her work with radioactive isotopes. After developing an enhanced method of preparing polonium samples, she was recognized internationally as the leading expert in isotope separation and polonium preparation. Between 1914 and 1918, during her postdoctoral study with George de Hevesy, she developed a theory that the velocity of diffusion depended on the mass of the nuclides. As only a few atomic elements had been identified, her confirmation of the existence of "Uranium-Y" was a major contribution to nuclear chemistry. She was awarded the Haitinger Prize by the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 1933.
Nuclear fission was discovered in December 1938 by physicist Lise Meitner and chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin. Fission was a nuclear reaction or radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller, lighter nuclei. The fission process often produces gamma rays, and releases a very large amount of energy even by the energetic standards of radioactive decay.