Nottingham element: Nottingham Panthers
The Nottingham Panthers are the city’s professional ice hockey club and members of the Elite Ice Hockey League.
The birth of an ice hockey team in Nottingham, coincided with the creation of the Nottingham Ice Stadium in 1939. The team, made up of Canadian imports, were due to take part in the 1939-40 English National League season, but were sent back almost as quickly as they arrived with the outbreak of the Second World War.
September 2000 saw the Panthers move to their current home at the National Ice Centre, constructed on the former site of the old Ice Stadium. They have one of the largest fan bases in British ice hockey, averaging over 5,000 spectators per game.
Scientific element: Neptunium
Neptunium is a radioactive metal whose name derives from the planet Neptune. Neptune is the next planet out from the Sun after Uranus, just like neptunium is the next element in the periodic table after uranium.
The element is dangerous. As well as radioactive, it’s also pyrophoric, capable of spontaneously catching fire at room temperature.
Neptunium contributed to an arguably mistaken Nobel Prize. Its discoverers Edwin McMillan and Philip H Ableson, succeeded where others had failed. Enrico Fermi had previously reported generating the element and was even awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics partly for his demonstrations of its existence, before embarrassingly evidence emerged that his data had been misinterpreted.
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