The Elusive End of the Periodic Table: Why Chase It?

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday September 12, 2019
      6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Location: Room 1128 (Suddath Room), Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB) Building, 315 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
  • Phone:
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  • Fee(s):
    Free and open to the public
  • Extras:
    Free food, freebies


Summary Sentence: Frontiers in Science Lecture celebrating the periodic table, with Monica Halka, Georgia Tech Honors Program

Full Summary: To celebrate the periodic table’s long-running success, the United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical elements.Throughout the year, the College of Sciences’ Frontiers in Science Lecture series will bring prominent researchers from Georgia Tech and beyond to expound on little-discussed aspects of the periodic table and chemical elements.

  • Monica Halka Monica Halka
  • Little-Discussed Aspects of Chemical Elements Little-Discussed Aspects of Chemical Elements

A Frontiers in Science Lecture to celebrate 2019, the International Year of the Periodic Table

For more than half a century, dedicated and eager groups of scientists have contrived ways to introduce heavier and heavier elements into the universe. Their efforts finally completed the seventh row of the famous—if poorly understood—periodic table of the chemical elements. 

Now all 118 elements have names, even though most spontaneously decay more quickly than you can say “Oganesson” or “Livermorium.” 

What now?  Continue?  Try to start another row?  Why?  To what end, and at what cost? 

This talk will explore the economic, societal, and scientific benefits and drawbacks inherent in this pursuit.

About the Speaker

Monica Halka is an experimental physicist whose research focused on the interaction of light with atoms. 

She has coauthored a set of six volumes on the periodic table, which examines historical, astrophysical, and practical observations about each of the chemical elements.

She serves as associate director of the Honors Program at Georgia Tech, where she teaches courses in optics, energy science, and the nuclear age, among others.

About Frontiers in Science Lectures
Lectures in this series are intended to inform, engage, and inspire students, faculty, staff, and the public on developments, breakthroughs, and topics of general interest in the sciences and mathematics. Lecturers tailor their talks for nonexpert audiences.

About the Periodic Table Frontiers in Science Lecture Series
Throughout 2019, the College of Sciences will bring prominent researchers from Georgia Tech and beyond to expound on little-discussed aspects of chemical elements:

  • Feb. 6, James Sowell, How the Universe Made the Elements in the Periodic Table
  • March 5, Michael Filler, Celebrating Silicon: Its Success, Hidden History, and Next Act
  • April 2, John Baez, University of California, Riverside, Mathematical Mysteries of the Periodic Table 
  • April 18, Sam Kean, Author, The Periodic Table: A Treasure Trove of Passion, Adventure, Betrayal, and Obsession 
  • Sept. 12, Monica Halka, The Elusive End of the Periodic Table: Why Chase It
  • October 31, Taka Ito, Turning Sour, Bloated, and Out of Breath: Ocean Chemistry under Global Warming 
  • Nov. 12, Margaret Kosal, The Geopolitics of Rare and Not-So-Rare Elements
Closest public parking for the April 2 lecture is Visitors Area 4, Ferst Street and Atlantic Drive,  
Refreshments are served, and periodic table t-shirts are given away, after every lecture

Related Links

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

College of Sciences, EAS, School of Biological Sciences, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Mathematics, School of Physics, School of Psychology

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Postdoc, Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
#IYPTGT2019 IYPT2019 periodic table, synthetic elements
  • Created By: A. Maureen Rouhi
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 3, 2019 - 3:04pm
  • Last Updated: Jul 10, 2019 - 1:40pm