London: E.J. David, 1903.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003167
8vo (245 x 182 mm).  4-16 pp. Original printed orange wrappers (little dust soiled, two vertical folds, paper sticker on front cover). Internally crisp and clean without stains or markings. Provenance: Henri Becquerel, inscribed in ink by the author on front cover "M. Henri Becquerel / With the author's kind regards." ----
FIRST EDITION of this physics paper by William Crookes. A REMARKABLE PRESENTATION COPY, linking two key figures of its time. Crookes (1832-1919), British chemist and physicist, and inventor of a high vacuum tube named after him, turned his attention to the newly discovered phenomenon of radioactivity in 1903. He achieved the separation from uranium of its active transformation product, uranium-X (later established to be protactinium). Crookes observed the gradual decay of the separated transformation product, and the simultaneous reproduction of a fresh supply in the original uranium. At about the same time as this important discovery, he observed that when "p-particles", ejected from radio-active substances, impinge upon zinc sulfide, each impact is accompanied by a minute scintillation, an observation which forms the basis of one of the most useful methods in the technique of radioactivity.
"In 1903, Crookes was invited to deliver an address in English [he did not speak German] before the Congress of Applied Chemistry at Berlin. He chose the subject, 'Modern Views on Matter : The Realisation of a Dream.' He claimed that the dream just realised was essentially a British dream, comprising the resolution of chemical elements into simpler forms of matter or even refining them altogether away into etheral vibrations or electrical energy." E.E. Fournier d'Albe, The Life of Sir William Crookes, O.M., F.R.S., Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013, p.378). Crooke's address also gives an historical outline of the constitution of matter, especially on Radiant Matter, a term Crookes used to describe the fourth (or plasma-) state of matter. He also refers to Becquerel's discovery of radioactivity in his paper. Henri Becquerel shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pierre Curie and Marie Curie for the discovery of spontaneous radioactivity. - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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