Becquerel

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Becquerel

(bĕkərĕl`), family of French physicists. Antoine César Becquerel, 1788–1878, was a pioneer in electrochemical science. He was professor of physics at the Muséum d'Histoire naturelle from 1838 until his death. Becquerel made a special study of the voltaic cell, telegraphy, and magnetism and wrote several books on these subjects. His second son, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel, 1820–91, succeeded his father, in 1878, as professor at the Muséum d'Histoire naturelle. Known for his studies in light, photochemistry, and phosphorescence (for which he invented the phosphoroscope), Alexandre wrote La Lumière, ses causes et ses effets (1867–68). His son, Antoine Henri Becquerel, 1852–1908, was professor at the École polytechnique, Paris, from 1895. He studied atmospheric polarization and the influence of the earth's magnetism on the atmosphere. In 1896 he discovered radioactivityradioactivity,
spontaneous disintegration or decay of the nucleus of an atom by emission of particles, usually accompanied by electromagnetic radiation. The energy produced by radioactivity has important military and industrial applications.
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 in uraniumuranium
, radioactive metallic chemical element; symbol U; at. no. 92; mass number of most stable isotope 238; m.p. 1,132°C;; b.p. 3,818°C;; sp. gr. 19.1 at 25°C;; valence +3, +4, +5, or +6.
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; the Curies made further investigations of the phenomenon and shared with Becquerel the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics (see CurieCurie
, family of French scientists. Pierre Curie, 1859–1906, scientist, and his wife, Marie Sklodowska Curie, 1867–1934, chemist and physicist, b. Warsaw, are known for their work on radioactivity and on radium.
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, family).

becquerel

[¦bek·ə¦rel or be′krel]
(nucleonics)
The International System unit of activity of a radionuclide, equal to the activity of a quantity of a radionuclide having one spontaneous nuclear transition per second. Symbolized Bq.

becquerel

the derived SI unit of radioactivity equal to one disintegration per second.

Becquerel

Antoine Henri . 1852--1908, French physicist, who discovered the photographic action of the rays emitted by uranium salts and so instigated the study of radioactivity: Nobel prize for physics 1903