Kamen was born with Toronto, with the Canada, the August 27th 1913. Physical doctor of chemistry to the University of Chicago in 1936, it integrates the team of Ernest Lawrence into the Radiation Laboratory of Berkeley. As radiochimist, it has in load the production of the Radioisotope S by the Cyclotron. In 1937, it meets Samuel Ruben then studied in chemistry near Willard Frank Libby. Kamen and Ruben work on the mechanism of the Photosynthèse by using like tracer biological Carbone 11. February 27th, 1940, they produce for the first time of the Carbon-14 in sufficient quantity to be able to measure its activity.
During the Second world war, Kamen remains in Berkeley and takes part in the Projet Manhattan which aims at manufacturing the atomic bomb. Its work, which has as a code name “Beta process”, concerns the recycling of the Uranium 235. In July 1944, it must resign at the request of the secret services of the American army which, because of its affinities of left, suspect it of threatening safety of the Manhattan project. He works on a shipyard until the spring 1945 when it is engaged to supervise the cyclotron of Medical School of the Université of Washington. After a long legal combat, he is rehabilitated in 1955.
- Martin KAMEN, Radiant Science and Dark Politics: Memoir off the Nuclear Age , Berkeley, University off California Press, 1985 has.
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