Radioactivity: Introduction and History

Radioactivity: Introduction and History, 1st Edition

Radioactivity: Introduction and History, 1st Edition,Michael L'Annunziata,ISBN9780444527158


Elsevier Science

9780444527158 New edition



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An introduction to radioactivity from natural and artificial sources on earth to cosmic radiation

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Key Features

* Provides entry-level overview of every form of radioactivity including natural and artificial sources, and radiation of cosmic origin.
* Includes many solved problems to practical questions concerning nuclear radiation and its interaction with matter
* Historical accounts of the major achievements of pioneers and Nobel Laureates, who have contributed to our current knowledge of radioactivity


Radioactivity: Introduction and History provides an introduction to radioactivity from natural and artificial sources on earth and radiation of cosmic origins. This book answers many questions for the student, teacher, and practitioner as to the origins, properties, detection and measurement, and applications of radioactivity. Written at a level that most students and teachers can appreciate, it includes many calculations that students and teachers may use in class work. Radioactivity: Introduction and History also serves as a refresher for experienced practitioners who use radioactive sources in his or her field of work. Also included are historical accounts of the lives and major achievements of many famous pioneers and Nobel Laureates who have contributed to our knowledge of the science of radioactivity.


Undergraduate/graduate students, teachers and practitioners interested in the basics of radioactivity and nuclear radiation

Michael L'Annunziata

Michael F. L’Annunziata earned his undergraduate B.Sc. degree in Chemistry in 1965 from St. Edward’s University and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in 1967 and 1970 at the University of Arizona. His graduate thesis research in the 1960s was carried out under a research contract with the then U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (U.S. AEC). The research work dealt with the analysis of radionuclides and chemical remediation of the environment in the event of possible nuclear war and fission product fallout. His main research interests have been focused on the development of chemical and instrumental methods for the detection and measurement of radioactive nuclides and the utilization of radionuclides as tracers in biological research. L’Annunziata was formerly Head of Fellowships and Training at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria; and he has served as a representative for the IAEA in fact-finding, planning, and implementation assignments on peaceful applications of nuclear energy for development in over 50 countries of the world from 1976 to 2007. He is the author and editor of several books including “Radionuclide Tracers, Their Detection and Measurement” published in 1987 and the “Handbook of Radioactivity Analysis” now in its third edition published in 2012. His more lengthy biography has been included in the annual editions of “Who’s Who in the World” from 1987 to 2016.

Affiliations and Expertise

Oceanside, CA, USA

View additional works by Michael F. L'Annunziata

Radioactivity: Introduction and History, 1st Edition

Foreword by Prof. Dr. W. Burkart,
Deputy Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna


Introduction: Radioactivity and our Well Being
Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part I
Democritus (c.460-c.370 B.C.), W.C. Rontgen (1845-1923), H. Becquerel (1852-1908), Pierre (1859-1906) and Marie Curie (1867-1934), P. Villard (1860-1934), E. Rutherford (1871-1937), H.A. Lorentz (1853-1928), P. Zeeman (1865-1943), J.J. Thomson (1856-1940), P. Lenard (1862-1947)

Chapter 1. Alpha Radiation
I. Introduction
II. Decay Energies
III. Alpha Particle Interactions with Matter
IV. Alpha Particle Ranges

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part II
F. Soddy (1877-1956), C.T.R. Wilson (1869-1959), F. Joliet (1900-1958) and I. Joliet-Curie (1897-1956), E. Fermi (1901-1954), W. Pauli (1900-1958), F. Reines (1918-1998) and C. Cowan, Jr. (1919-1974)

Chapter 2. Beta Radiation
I. Introduction
II. Negatrons
III. Positrons
IV. Beta-particle Absorption and Transmission
V. Stopping Power and Linear Energy Transfer

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part III
M. Planck (1858-1947), L. de Broglie (1892-1987), A. Einstein (1879-1955), A.H. Compton (1892-1962), M. von Laue (1879-1960), Sir W.H. Bragg (1862-1942) and Sir W.L. Bragg (1890-1971), H.G.J. Moseley (1887-1915), C.G. Barkla (1877-1944), M. Siegbahn (1886-1978), R.A. Millikan (1868-1953)

Chapter 3. Gamma- and X-Radiation – Photons
I. Introduction
II. Dual Nature: Wave and Particle
III. Gamma Radiation
IV. Annihilation Radiation
V. Cherenkov Radiation
VI. X-Radiation
VII. Bremsstrahlung
VIII. Interactions of Electromagnetic Radiation with Matter

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part IV
J. Chadwick (1891-1974), L. Meitner (1878-1968 and O. Hahn (1879-1968), L. Szilard (1898-1964)

Chapter 4. Neutron Radiation
I. Introduction
II. Neutron Classification
III. Sources of Neutrons
IV. Interactions of Neutrons with Matter
V. Neutron Attenuation and Cross Sections
VI. Neutron Decay

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part V
N. Bohr (1885-1962), G. Hertz (1887-1975) and J. Frank (1882-1964), W. Heisenberg (1901-1976), E. Schrodinger (1887-1961), M. Born (1882-1970) and P.A.H. Dirac (1902-1984), C. Davisson (1881-1958) and G.P. Thomson (1892-1975)

Chapter 5. Atomic Electron Radiation
I. Introduction
II. Internal Conversion Electrons
III. Auger Electrons

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part VI
V.F. Hess (1883-1964), C.D. Anderson (1905-1991), P.M.S. Blackett (1897-1974), Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), C.F. Powell (1903-1969), D.A. Glaser (1926-), Pierre Victor Auger (1899-1993)

Chapter 6. Cosmic Radiation
I. Introduction
II. Classification and Properties
III. Showers of the Cosmic Radiation
IV. Cosmic Rays Underground
V. Origins of Cosmic Radiation
VI. Cosmic Background Radiation
VII. Dose from Cosmic Radiation and other Sources

Radioactivity Hall of Fame – Part VII
S. Ivanovich Vavilov (1891-1951), P. Alekseyevich Cherenkov (1904-1990), I. Mikhailovich Frank (1908-1990) and I. Yevgenyevich Tamm (1895-1971)

Chapter 7. Cherenkov Radiation
I. Introduction
II. Theory and Properties
III. Cherenkov Photons from Gamma-ray Interactions
IV. Particle Identification
V. Applications in Radionuclide Analysis

Radioactivity Hall of Fame - Part VIII
E.O. Lawrence (1901-1958, J.D. Cockroft (1897-1967) and E.T.S. Walton (1903-1995), H.A. Bethe (1906-2005), W.F. Libby (1908-1980)

Chapter 8. Radioisotope Decay, Radioactivity Units and Radionuclide Mass
I. Introduction
II. Half-life
III. General Decay Equations
IV. Secular Equilibrium
V. Transient Equilibrium
VI. No Equilibrium
VII. More Complex Decay Schemes
VIII. Radioactivity Units and Radionuclide Mass

Appendix A - Particle Range-Energy Correlations

Appendix B - Periodic Table of the Elements

Quotes and reviews

CHOICE Magazine, July 2008: "This work provides an overview of the many interesting aspects of the science of radioactive decays, including in-depth chapters that offer reminiscences on the history and important personalities of the field ... The book can be useful as supplemental reading or as a reference when developing course material for nuclear physics, nuclear engineering, or health physics lectures. Special attention has been given to a chapter on the role radioactivity plays in everyday life applications...Generally the book is well produced and will be a valuable resource for the history of radioactivity. Many lectures can be lightened up by including material from this work. Summing up: RECOMMENDED. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals; technical program students." --U. Greife, Colorado School of Mines, USA

"I found the biographical accounts of the various stalwarts of Physics inspirational. Most of them, if not all, had to overcome economic hardships or personal tragedies or had to do their ground breaking work in the face of tyranny and war. The biographies also highlighted the high standards of moral convictions that the scientists had as they realized the grave implications of some of their work and the potential threat to humanity. This ought to inspire and motivate young men and women aspiring to be Physicists. Even people who have been in the field for a while should find your book re-energizing. It certainly had that effect on me." --Dr. Ramkumar Venkataraman, Canberra Industries, Inc., Meriden, CT, USA.
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