The Transmutation of Elements

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IN a letter to NATURE of January 2, 1926, Prof. Smits records the obtaining of evidence of the transmutation of lead into thallium and into mercury. One of our research students has been employed for some time in an attempt to detect the transmutation of lead into thallium, but up to the present the experimental difficulties have not been satisfactorily overcome, and we are not yet able to make a definite statement on the matter as a result of this work. The experiments so far attempted in this Laboratory, and those contemplated in future efforts, have been designed to facilitate the entry of an electron into the nucleus of a lead atom in the hope of effecting a transmutation into an isobare of another element (thallium), rather than to bring about a transmutation by the ejection of a proton or α-particle from the nucleus of the lead atom.

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