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Reference MS.8642
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Previous Numbers WMS/ALS: Becquerel
Level Item
Extent 1 file (3 items)
Title Becquerel, Henri (1852-1908), physicist
Date 1900-1906
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Name Becquerel, Henri, 1852-1908.

Three autograph notes by Becquerel, one of which (no.1) is written on two visiting cards mounted on a sheet of paper.

All three are written to the British scientist Sir William Crookes FRS (1832-1919). No.2 mentions Crookes' "pioneering" work on uranium salts, whilst no.3 refers to Crookes' becoming a corresponding member of the Académie des Sciences.

Arrangement The items are held in chronological order.
Historical Background

Henri Becquerel was the discoverer of radioactivity and shared the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics with Marie and Pierre Curie for this discovery. In 1896 whilst engaged in following up the work of Röntgen regarding what are now known as X-rays, he found that a lump of uranium, wrapped in photographic plates, caused the plates to become fully exposed even before exposure to the light.

He was born in Paris into a family of scientists: in 1892, he became the third in his family to hold the chair of physics at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Following his discovery described above, he received the Nobel Prize as noted, and in 1908 was elected Permanent Secretary of the Académie des Sciences. He died at the age of 55 in Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique) in the year 1908.

The SI unit of radioactivity, the becquerel (Bq), is named in his honour.

Acquisition Details Purchased from Sotheby's, London, April 1932 (acc.65133).
Accession Number 65133
Access Status Open
Reproduction Conditions Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
Language French
Subject Physics
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. 0e1dc402-6869-48f5-b711-d696165c172d