Publisher Information: 1932.
Joliot, Frédéric (1900-1958) & Joliot-Curie, Irène (1897-1956). Sur la nature du rayonnement pénétrant excité dans les noyaux légers par les particules alpha. Offprint from C. r. des séances de l’Acad. d. Sci. (April 11, 1932). 8vo. 3, pp. 243 x 161 mm. Original printed wrappers, somewhat faded. Moderate browning, otherwise very good.
First Separate Edition. In 1931, Irène Joliot-Curie, daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie, and her husband Frédéric Joliot began four years of intensive collaborative research on radioactivity that culminated in their discovery of artificial radioactivity. In November 1935 the couple were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their synthesis of new radioactive elements; they are thus numbered among the small group of outstanding physicists (including Marie Curie) who have received Nobel awards in chemistry (see Weber, Pioneers of Science, p. 4).
The present paper is one of several originating from the first experiments that the Joliot-Curies carried out during this period, which focused on the penetrating radiation (known as Bothe-Becker radiation) emanating from beryllium, boron and certain other light elements when bombarded with alpha rays. During the course of these experiments, the Joliot-Curies made an important discovery: interposing a plate of hydrogen-containing material between the radiation source and the ionization chamber caused a large increase in the current. “It appeared that this radiation, produced only in hydrogen-containing substances, consisted of protons ejected by the penetrating Bothe-Becker radiation” (DSB). The Joliot-Curies first announced their discovery in a paper presented in January 1932; the present paper, published three months later, describes further progress in their investigations. The Joliot-Curie’s work in this field led directly to James Chadwick’s discovery of the neutron in February 1932.Book Id: 43039