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The synthetic chemistry of polymers appeared in 1833, when Berzelius formulated the concept of polymerism. Gay-Lussac synthesized the first polymer. During the subsequent years the field of macromolecular compounds has been enriched by a large number of a new synthetic methods, the contribution of our scientists to polymer chemistry being very substantial.

The works of Butlerov, Lebedev, Favorsky, Shorygin, Kargin, Medvedev and others laid the foundations of polymer science. A great number of chemists are now engage in synthesis of new polymers, 50% of all organic chemists working directly or indirectly on polymers, and a still greater number of scientists are occupied with use of the results of these investigations in industrial production, processing and application of polymers.

Man at last understood the elements well enough to make his own. First there were some elements still missing from the Periodic Table. The fact was they were practically missing from nature, too.

Scientists had to make these elements themselves. To make such elements meant first of all to carry on great experimental work. Many scientists worked hard at this problem. In 1919 Ernest Rutherford was the first to change nitrogen to oxygen by bombarding nitrogen atoms with alpha-particles.

To alter an element artificially is to add or subtract particles in its nucleus. The first completely new man-made isotope was created by Rutherford’s method, its creators being Irene Curie and her husband Frederic Joliot. To do that they had to bombard aluminium with alpha-particles. This attack transformed some of the aluminium atoms into a highly radioactive substance. This substance was a new kind of phosphorus, its atomic weight being 30, instead of natural phosphorus 31.

It was no wonder that phosphorus 30 did not occur in nature, its half-life being only two and a half minute. Thus Joliot-Curie were the first to produce “artificial radioactivity”. The era of artificial transmutation began with the building of the first atom-smasher, i.e. cyclotron.

The first element produced in this way was missing number 43, it being named “technetium”. The aim of the scientists was to discover other elements. In 1939 a new element was found. It behaves like an alkali-metal; therefore it was to be 87 the missing number of the alkali-metal family. It was called “francium”. It was detected in nature. Later that element was produced artificially by an accelerator, and only then did chemists obtain enough of it. For that reason francium is to be considered as a man-made element.

Later scientists discovered traces of an element in neutron-bombarding uranium. They called it “neptunium”. Radioactive neptunium gave rise to another element – number 94. In 1955 chemists could produce a few atoms of element 101, which was named “mendelevium”. The isolation of element number 102 occurred in 1963, it being named “nobelium”, as part of the work was done at the Nobel Institute in Stockholm.

The next element to be produced was 103, it was names “lawrencium”, for E. Lawrence, the inventor of cyclotron. Then the task was to discover the next element. It was 104 – “kurchatovium” in honour of the great scientist, who worked in the field of nuclear physics.

The scientists of the whole world continue their research in the field of artificial elements.