Who Discovered It? Discover Who Found What & When
ScienceDiseasesGeographyAstronomyChemical ElementsMiscellaneous

Who Discovered Radiation?

Posted In: Science. Bookmark and Share

Radiation is a process where the energetic waves or particles are transferred through space or a medium. Radiation can be classified into two types; ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Radiation was discovery when Wilhelm Röntgen began experimenting with them in vacuum tubes.

Wilhelm Röntgen and the world's first medical X-rayWilhelm Röntgen and the world’s first medical X-ray. The X-ray was that of his wife’s hand, Anna Bertha Ludwig. As you can notice, back then, bones were shown in black with a white background. Today’s X-ray is the opposite, with the bones shown in white with a black background, making details on the bones more visible.

His experiment

He noticed phosphorescence on a coated glass plate while he was experimenting with different isotopes of hydrogen, like Tritium. He noticed a striking transformation in the photonic emissions when he measured the electrical charges in the vacuum. After photographing the tritium pictures, he discovered that the solid state would quickly deteriorate within a month. He actually discovered what we will today call as the X-rays.

Henri Becquerel and Marie Curie

Henri Becquerel also had a major role to play in the discovery of radiation. He found that it was the uranium salts which were the main cause for the formation of fogs on an unexposed photographic screen and finally, the discovery was brought to a another level, when Marie Curie found out that only certain elements displayed the radiation property. These elements have the ability to emit these rays and this behavior was named by Marie Curie as radioactivity.

Different types of radiation

The radiation by Alpha, Beta and Gamma particles was discovered by Ernest Rutherford, who made use of a simple radioactive source and proved that the rays produced by these particles, affected three different zones on the reactive screen. In December 1899, Marie Curie in the company of Pierre Curie, her husband, discovered a new radioactive element, radium, which was a million times more radioactive than uranium.