Ex. 5. Do you know what these people did for science? Match the name of a scientist and the achievement made by him.
The discovery of artificial radioactivity
The discovery of natural radioactivity
The development of the apparatus for the detection of radioactive nuclides
The discovery of neutron
The achievement of an artificial nuclear transformation
The discovery of natural radioactivity by the French researcher Henri Becquerel ushered in a new era in science and technology. This phenomenon is based on the principle that substances occurring in nature, such as uranium and radium, are transformed into other chemical elements, independently of influences from outside, emitting different kinds of radiations which blacken a photographic plate as this is done by the rays of light.
In the decades following this discovery thousands of scientists in many countries of the world have systematically investigated the essence and the application of radioactivity and of the radiation emitted by radioactive nuclides.
The basic practical and theoretical work done by the Curies, the work by E. Rutherford who achieved an artificial nuclear transformation, the development of apparatus for the detection of radioactive nuclides by Geiger and Muller, the discovery of neutron by the English physicist J. Chadwick, the discovery of the artificial radioactivity by the Curies and the discoveries of some other scientists are the milestones in the history of radioactivity.
The field of application of radioactive nuclides in chemistry, physics, biology, agriculture, medicine and industry has rapidly expanded. One of the most interesting fields of applications of radioactivity is the determination of the age of carbonaceous materials, that is materials containing carbon, by measurement of their radioactivity due to carbon 14.
This technique of radiocarbon dating permits the dating of samples containing carbon with an accuracy of around 200 years.
At the present time the method involved can be applied to materials that are about 25,000 years old.
Today the range of application of radioactive nuclides comprises all branches of research work. Thus, for example, certain medical examinations call for short lived radioactive nuclides in order that the human organism should not be exposed too long a period of time to radiation, whereas a radioactive nuclide which excites the luminescent material should have a long half-life.
Investigations into the reaction mechanisms in chemistry, researches in the field of physics, the explanation of vital processes in plants, animals and man, diagnostics of diseases of the human body, the testing of metallic and ceramic materials are but a few fields of science and technology which today, 91 years after the discovery of radioactivity, cannot dispense with radioactive nuclides and the radiation emitted by them.
It should be added that a considerable number of research problems has only become soluble by the use of radioactive nuclides.
Ex. 6. Look through the text again and find the sentences where the author describes: