About the Element
Nobelium, element 102, is named after Alfred Nobel, the originator of the Nobel prizes, so I included his portrait, although he had nothing to do with discovering it. A short lived isotope was discovered in 1957 by a group of scientists at the Nobel Institute, created by bombarding curium with carbon ions. The most stable isotope is 259, with a half life of 58 minutes. It breaks down into mendelevium by taking an electron into its nucleus where it combines with a proton to create a neutron and a neutrino (v). The other product is fermium, produced by the loss of an alpha particle (a helium nucleus) to make a slightly more stable compound. It has no known uses, other than in research to create other elements.

About the Print
The story here that interested me is how quickly it breaks down, everything is in flux and lots of energy is released. It is hard to picture nobelium without it's attendant molecules, since it is so short lived. I wanted to do a reduction print, and started with a metallic silver, with appropriate cuts for white background, progressing to bright orange (or red) and then black. You could consider the reduction print as symbolizing the breakdown that these radioactive elements undergo (although I have to admit that I did not think of that at the beginning!)

Three colour reduction linocut, edition 5 variable (two orange, three red), printed on hosho, Daniel Smith WB and Speedball WB (for the silver).

About the Printmaker
I have been involved in printmaking off and on for the last thirty years, experimenting wih several different intaglio and relief methods. I find it a nice complement to my other consuming interest, photography. I first learned the technical background of photography in the lab where I worked as a technician, and both photography and printmaking appeal to that love of precise expression and interpretation. This project appealed particularly to my science backgound, and I have enjoyed the experience thoroughly!


by Lynn A. MacIntyre

see also: Iridium

Symbol: No
Atomic number: 102
Atomic weight: 259