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  • Radioactivity: Radium and Polonium
  • 88
  • Ra
  • Radium
  • 226.0254
  • 84
  • Po
  • 209.9824
  • Polonium
  • Here lies the story and tales of Radioactivity. The Curries', Marie and Pierre, courageous actions and studies ultimately led to their untimely death.  Radium and radioactivity all invaded their lives.
  • The element of Radium. The atomic number is 88 and has an atomic mass of 226.0254.
  • The element of Polonium.The atomic number is 84 and has an atomic mass of 209.9824
  • In 1896 Henri Becquerel, a French scientist,was using naturally fluorescent minerals to study the properties of x-rays. He exposed potassium uranyl sulfate to sunlight and then placed it on photographic plates wrapped in black paper, believing that the uranium absorbed the sun’s energy and then emitted it as x-rays. 
  • The new radiation was bent by the magnetic field so that the radiation must be charged and different than x-rays. When different radioactive substances were put in the magnetic field, they deflected in different directions or not at all, showing that there were three classes of radioactivity: negative, positive, and electrically neutral. 
  • His hypothesis and his experiment "failed" because it was overcast in Paris. Despite his "failure", he decided to develop his photographic plates anyway. To his surprise, the images were strong and clear, proving that the uranium emitted radiation without an external source of energy such as the sun discovering radioactivity.
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