BECQUEREL Antoine Henry (Becquerel Antoine Henri, 1852 — 1908) — the French physicist, professor of the Parisian polytechnical school, the member of the Parisian academy of Sciences (1889). Got an education at the Parisian polytechnical school where arrived in 1872; in 1877 published the first work «Pilot researches of rotary magnetic polarization». A. Bekkerel's works which followed it in the field of electricity, magnetism, electrochemistry, photochemistry, optics and meteorology created to it popularity in wide scientific community.
In connection with V. Rentgen's message that the dark light opened for them comes from the fluorescent site of a vacuum tube (1895), A. The becquerel decided to find out whether x-ray emission is the invariable satellite of fluorescence, and carried out a run with the minerals glowing in the dark after radiation on bright solar to light. This hypothesis was not confirmed, but the related experiences of A. Bekkerel led to outstanding opening: the nek-ry minerals (containing uranium salts) are capable to let out spontaneously a dark light, on physical properties similar to x-ray emission. These beams long time carried the name of beams of Becquerel (see. Radioactivity ). The research of these beams was continued by Pierre Curie and Maria Curie-Sklodovskaya. They found out that similar radiation gives not only uranium, but also some other elements. Maria Curie-Sklodovskaya suggested to call this phenomenon radioactivity (Latin of radius a beam), and radiation — radioactive.
The injury of skin received by A. Bekkerel from a source with radium preparation was the cause of a research of biological effect of radiation of radium, a penetrating radiation, and further and of development of methods of therapeutic use of radioactive materials.
Works: Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des s6ances de l’Acadgmie des sciences (Paris), t. 122, p. 420, 559, 762 e. a., 1896 (number of works); Aetion physiologique des rayons du radium, ibid., t. 132, p. 1289, 1901 (sovm, with Curie P.); Recherches sur une prop-gshyo nouvelle de la matifcre, activity radiante spontan6e ou radioactivit6 de la matifcre, Myot. Acad. Sci. Inst. France, t. 46, 1903.
Bibliography: Kapustinskaya C. A. Henri Becquerel, M., 1965; R and η with And. Henri Becquerel et la d6couverte de la radioactivit6, P., 1946.
M. I. Weinberg.