The isotope centenary: 4th December

Faithfull, J. (2014) The isotope centenary: 4th December. In: 22nd International Isotope Society (UK Group) Symposium: Synthesis and Applications of Labelled Compounds 2013, Cambridge, UK, 18 Oct 2013, p. 179. (doi: 10.1002/jlcr.3173)

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On 4 December 1913, the journal Nature published a letter by Frederick Soddy, of the University of Glasgow, in which the term isotope was publicly used for the first time. Soddy had been at Glasgow since 1904 and realized the chemical identity of ‘mesothorium’ (228Ra—which Soddy separated from thorium minerals) and Marie Curie’s radium (226Ra—from uranium minerals). Soddy was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1921, largely for this work.<p></p> A number of historical radioactive samples (including Soddy samples) survive at Glasgow, as well as some of his equipment, and these provide a rare glimpse into the birth of radiochemistry. High precision gamma-ray spectrometry has been carried out on them, and together with archival research, this provides new insights into their preparation and history. Since Soddy’s breakthrough, the ratio of known isotopes to elements has grown from 1 to nearly 27!

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Faithfull, Dr John
Authors: Faithfull, J.
College/School:University Services > Library and Collection Services > Museum and Art Gallery

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