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Radio-activity Radio-activity Radium

Nature volume 70, pages 241242 (14 July 1904) | Download Citation



IN February, 1896, M. Henri Becquerel found that uranium salts emit rays capable of affecting a photographic plate and of penetrating black paper and other bodies opaque to ordinary light. In the eight years which have elapsed since, a startling series of discoveries of extraordinary interest to the physicist and chemist has rewarded those experimental investigators who followed up the clue given by Becquerel's observation just mentioned. As the result of their labours, a new branch of physical chemistry has been created which already possesses a bulky literature, growing with ever-increasing velocity. The following are approximately the number of papers on radio-activity published in scientific journals for each year since Becquerel's original discovery:—1896, 7; 1897, 6; 1898, 7; 1899, 18; 1900, 39; 1901, 36; 1902, 41; 1903, 90. Thus at present the literature of the subject comprises several hundred papers, and new papers are appearing at the rate of several per week.

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