Radioactivity: Introduction and History

1st Edition

Print ISBN: 9780444527158
eBook ISBN: 9780080548883
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 18th July 2007
Page Count: 632
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Radioactivity: Introduction and History provides an introduction to radioactivity from natural and artificial sources on earth and radiation of cosmic origins. This book answers many questions for the student, teacher, and practitioner as to the origins, properties, detection and measurement, and applications of radioactivity. Written at a level that most students and teachers can appreciate, it includes many calculations that students and teachers may use in class work. Radioactivity: Introduction and History also serves as a refresher for experienced practitioners who use radioactive sources in his or her field of work. Also included are historical accounts of the lives and major achievements of many famous pioneers and Nobel Laureates who have contributed to our knowledge of the science of radioactivity.

Key Features

  • Provides entry-level overview of every form of radioactivity including natural and artificial sources, and radiation of cosmic origin.
  • Includes many solved problems to practical questions concerning nuclear radiation and its interaction with matter
  • Historical accounts of the major achievements of pioneers and Nobel Laureates, who have contributed to our current knowledge of radioactivity


Undergraduate/graduate students, teachers and practitioners interested in the basics of radioactivity and nuclear radiation

Table of Contents

Foreword by Prof. Dr. W. Burkart, Deputy Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna
Introduction: Radioactivity and our Well Being

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part I Democritus (c.460-c.370 B.C.), W.C. Rontgen (1845-1923), H. Becquerel (1852-1908), Pierre (1859-1906) and Marie Curie (1867-1934), P. Villard (1860-1934), E. Rutherford (1871-1937), H.A. Lorentz (1853-1928), P. Zeeman (1865-1943), J.J. Thomson (1856-1940), P. Lenard (1862-1947)

Chapter 1. Alpha Radiation I. Introduction II. Decay Energies III. Alpha Particle Interactions with Matter IV. Alpha Particle Ranges

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part II F. Soddy (1877-1956), C.T.R. Wilson (1869-1959), F. Joliet (1900-1958) and I. Joliet-Curie (1897-1956), E. Fermi (1901-1954), W. Pauli (1900-1958), F. Reines (1918-1998) and C. Cowan, Jr. (1919-1974)

Chapter 2. Beta Radiation I. Introduction II. Negatrons III. Positrons IV. Beta-particle Absorption and Transmission V. Stopping Power and Linear Energy Transfer

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part III M. Planck (1858-1947), L. de Broglie (1892-1987), A. Einstein (1879-1955), A.H. Compton (1892-1962), M. von Laue (1879-1960), Sir W.H. Bragg (1862-1942) and Sir W.L. Bragg (1890-1971), H.G.J. Moseley (1887-1915), C.G. Barkla (1877-1944), M. Siegbahn (1886-1978), R.A. Millikan (1868-1953)

Chapter 3. Gamma- and X-Radiation – Photons I. Introduction II. Dual Nature: Wave and Particle III. Gamma Radiation IV. Annihilation Radiation V.


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CHOICE Magazine, July 2008: "This work provides an overview of the many interesting aspects of the science of radioactive decays, including in-depth chapters that offer reminiscences on the history and important personalities of the field ... The book can be useful as supplemental reading or as a reference when developing course material for nuclear physics, nuclear engineering, or health physics lectures. Special attention has been given to a chapter on the role radioactivity plays in everyday life applications...Generally the book is well produced and will be a valuable resource for the history of radioactivity. Many lectures can be lightened up by including material from this work. Summing up: RECOMMENDED. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals; technical program students." --U. Greife, Colorado School of Mines, USA "I found the biographical accounts of the various stalwarts of Physics inspirational. Most of them, if not all, had to overcome economic hardships or personal tragedies or had to do their ground breaking work in the face of tyranny and war. The biographies also highlighted the high standards of moral convictions that the scientists had as they realized the grave implications of some of their work and the potential threat to humanity. This ought to inspire and motivate young men and women aspiring to be Physicists. Even people who have been in the field for a while should find your book re-energizing. It certainly had that effect on me." --Dr. Ramkumar Venkataraman, Canberra Industries, Inc., Meriden, CT, USA.