Carol Travis Alonso, co-discoverer of Seaborgio

Carol Travis Alonso was born in Montreal (Canada) on 5 December 1941.

Carol T. Alonso with her husband

She began her physics career at Allegheny College through a double major in physics and mathematics. She then completed a master's degree in biophysics at Bryn Mawr, after which she joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) group of which her husband and fellow physicist, Jose R. Alonso, was already a member. There she completed her doctoral thesis on "Perturbed Angular Correlations".

Carol and her husband went on to work as postdocs at Yale, and a year later joined Professor Glenn Seaborg's group at Berkeley. During these two years of postdoctoral research at the University of California, Seaborg's team, of which Carol was a member, discovered Element 106 of the periodic table. This element was later named Seaborg after his mentor, the 1951 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry who was directly involved in the discovery of americium, plutonium, nobelium, mendelevium, berkelium, californium, curium, and thorium.

Seaborgium, an artificial chemical element, was obtained in 1974 by bombarding californium with oxygen atoms. The members of the research team responsible for this discovery were: Matti Nurmia, Jose R. Alonso, Carol T. Alonso, Albert Ghiorso, E. Kenneth Hulet, Ronald W. Lougheed, J. Michael Nitschke, and Glenn T. Seaborg.

Co-discoverers of Element 106, Seaborgio

Carol continued her career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the field of Defence Science, managing, among others, the joint US-UK programs and conducting the first laser fusion experiments. It was at this laboratory, as Deputy Director for National Security, that she ended her scientific career, taking early retirement in 2001.

Throughout her career, she has written several scientific papers on nuclear physics.

After her retirement, Carol has devoted herself to another of her great passions, horses. In particular, she trains and participates in dressage horse competitions in a specialty of freestyle with music.

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