JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Henri Becquerel. Portrait of the French physicist Antoine Henri Becquerel (1852-1908), discoverer of radioactivity. He was educated at the Ecole Poly- technique in Paris where he became professor of physics in 1895. In 1896 Becquerel discovered the phenomenon of radioactivity by showing that a uranium salt was able to blacken a wrapped photographic plate. In 1899 he noted that the radiation coming from the uranium salt could be deflected by a magnetic field. This allowed Becquerel to conclude that this radiation was partly composed of electrons discovered a few years before by J. J. Thomson. In 1903 Becquerel shared the Nobel Prize in physics with the Curies.
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