Antoine Henri Becquerel, French physicist

Antoine Henri Becquerel, French physicist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Antoine Henri Becquerel (1852-1908). 1895 illustration of the French physicist and discoverer of radioactivity Antoine Henri Becquerel. In 1896 Becquerel discovered the phenomenon of radioactivity by showing that a uranium salt was able to blacken a photographic plate. In 1899 he noted that the radiation coming from the uranium salt was deflected by a magnetic field. Becquerel concluded that this radiation was partly composed of charged particles. He also discovered that radiation is toxic. Becquerel shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics. The International Standard (SI) unit of radioactivity is named after him.

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