Today we in this article will discuss that How Radioactivity Was Discovered?
After the discovery of X-rays in 1895, Henry Becquerel in 1896, had the idea (mistakenly) that minerals made phosphorescent by light might emit X-rays
Discovery of Radioactivity:
Becquerel Wrapped a photographic plate in black paper to protect it from direct sunlight. Then he placed a phosphorescent Uranium mineral on the plate believing that the Uranium mineral absorbed the sun’s energy and emitted it as X-rays. When he developed the photographic plate, it bore a clear image of Uranium mineral; he thought this as confirmation of his theory.
It was a coincidence that the sun did not shine for several days in Paris. He stopped his experiment and placed Uranium mineral and wrapped the photographic plate together in a drawer. After several days he developed the plate expecting a weak image but to his surprise, the image was as strong as in the original sunlight experiment. He now drew a correct conclusion that the image had nothing to do with the light, but the exposure came from the Uranium itself. Thus, Radioactivity was discovered.
Further tests showed that the substance emits these radiations continuously even when placed in darkness for long period and that the radiations pass only through the glass but not through metal. The substance which emits radiations is known as radioactive substance and this process is known as Radioactivity.
Henry Becquerel continued his research on X-rays and passed the investigation of radioactivity on to his research student, Marie Curie. Within two years, Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie discovered other radioactive elements, including Radium and Polonium and received a noble prize in 1903. Also, read this article How Old Are Scotch Tapes?
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