In 1896, Henri Becquerel first discovered natural radioactivity in potassium uranyl sulfate. Artificial radioactivity was not produced until 1934, when I. Curie and F. Joliot made boron, aluminum, and magnesium radioactive by bombarding them with α-particles from polonium. This introduction of artificial radioactivity prompted the invention of cyclotrons and reactors in which many radionuclides are now produced. So far, more than 2700 radionuclides have been artificially produced and characterized in terms of their physical properties.


Auger Electron Internal Conversion Decay Scheme Spontaneous Fission Auger Process 
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Suggested Readings

  1. Friedlander G, Kennedy JW, Miller JM. Nuclear and Radio chemistry. 3rd ed. New York: Wiley; 1981.Google Scholar
  2. Sorensen JA, Phelps ME. Physics in Nuclear Medicine. 2nd ed. New York: Grune & Stratton; 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gopal B. Saha
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineThe Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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