Medical Dictionary

Becquerel ray

noun Bec·que·rel ray \(ˌ)bek-ˌrel-, ˌbek-ə-\

Medical Definition of Becquerel ray

  1. :  a ray emitted by a radioactive substance—used before radioactive emissions were classified as alpha and beta particles and gamma-ray photons

Biographical Note for becquerel ray




(1852–1908), French physicist. The father of modern atomic and nuclear physics, Becquerel is most notable for his discovery of radioactivity. In 1896 he demonstrated that uranium salts are radioactive and emit rays. For a time the rays were called Becquerel rays. His observations led Pierre and Marie Curie to their discovery of radium. Becquerel also undertook research into light polarization, magnetism, and the passage of light through crystals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903.

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