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Paul Ulrich Villard
|Died||13 January 1934 73) (aged|
|Known for||Discoverer of Gamma Rays|
Paul Ulrich Villard (28 September 1860 – 13 January 1934) was a French chemist and physicist. He discovered gamma rays in 1900 while studying the radiation emanating from radium.
Villard was born in Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d'Or, Rhône. He graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1881 and taught in several Lycées, ending with a Lycée in Montpellier. He would maintain a laboratory position at the Ecole Normale Supérieure until his retirement. At the time when he discovered what we now call gamma rays, Villard was working in the chemistry department of the École Normale Supérieure rue d'Ulm, Paris.
Villard is also credited with the discovery of argon hydrate. He spent the early part of his career (1888–1896) focusing on similar compounds at high pressure.
Villard investigated the radiation from radium salts that escaped from a narrow aperture in a shielded container onto a photographic plate, through a thin layer of lead that was known to stop alpha rays. He was able to show that the remaining radiation consisted of a second and third type of rays. One of those was deflected by a magnetic field (as were the familiar "canal rays") and could be identified with Rutherford's beta rays. The last type was a very penetrating kind of radiation which had not been identified before...
Villard was a modest man and he did not suggest a specific name for the type of radiation he had discovered. In 1903, it was Ernest Rutherford who proposed to call Villard's rays gamma rays because they were far more penetrating than the alpha rays and beta rays which he himself had already differentiated and named (in 1899) on the basis of their respective penetrating powers. The name stuck.
Villard spent much time perfecting safer and more accurate methods of radiation dosimetry, which had been done very crudely up until then (typically by evaluating the quality of the image of the experimenter's hand produced on a photographic plate). In 1908, Villard pioneered the use of an ionization chamber for the dosimetry of ionizing radiation. He defined a unit of kerma which was later renamed the roentgen.
When Villard retired, he left Paris. He died in Bayonne, France, on January 13th, 1934.
A Geiger counter is an instrument used for detecting and measuring ionizing radiation. Also known as a Geiger–Mueller counter, it is widely used in applications such as radiation dosimetry, radiological protection, experimental physics, and the nuclear industry.
In physics, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. This includes:
A beta particle, also called beta ray or beta radiation, is a high-energy, high-speed electron or positron emitted by the radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus during the process of beta decay. There are two forms of beta decay, β− decay and β+ decay, which produce electrons and positrons respectively.
Ionizing radiation is radiation that carries sufficient energy to detach electrons from atoms or molecules, thereby ionizing them. Ionizing radiation is made up of energetic subatomic particles, ions or atoms moving at high speeds, and electromagnetic waves on the high-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The gray is a derived unit of ionizing radiation dose in the International System of Units (SI). It is defined as the absorption of one joule of radiation energy per kilogram of matter.
Radiation dosimetry in the fields of health physics and radiation protection is the measurement, calculation and assessment of the ionizing radiation dose absorbed by an object, usually the human body. This applies both internally, due to ingested or inhaled radioactive substances, or externally due to irradiation by sources of radiation.
Radiation protection, also known as radiological protection, is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as "The protection of people from harmful effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the means for achieving this". Exposure can be from a source of radiation external to the human body or due to internal irradiation caused by the ingestion of radioactive contamination.
Absorbed dose is a dose quantity which is the measure of the energy deposited in matter by ionizing radiation per unit mass. Absorbed dose is used in the calculation of dose uptake in living tissue in both radiation protection, and radiology. It is also used to directly compare the effect of radiation on inanimate matter such as in radiation hardening.
The ionization chamber is the simplest of all gas-filled radiation detectors, and is widely used for the detection and measurement of certain types of ionizing radiation; X-rays, gamma rays, and beta particles. Conventionally, the term "ionization chamber" is used exclusively to describe those detectors which collect all the charges created by direct ionization within the gas through the application of an electric field. It only uses the discrete charges created by each interaction between the incident radiation and the gas, and does not involve the gas multiplication mechanisms used by other radiation instruments, such as the Geiger counter or the proportional counter.
The film badge dosimeter or film badge is a personal dosimeter used for monitoring cumulative radiation dose due to ionizing radiation.
Radioluminescence is the phenomenon by which light is produced in a material by bombardment with ionizing radiation such as alpha particles, beta particles, or gamma rays. Radioluminescence is used as a low level light source for night illumination of instruments or signage. Radioluminescent paint used to be used for clock hands and instrument dials, enabling them to be read in the dark. Radioluminescence is also sometimes seen around high-power radiation sources, such as nuclear reactors and radioisotopes.
In dosimetry, linear energy transfer (LET) is the amount of energy that an ionizing particle transfers to the material traversed per unit distance. It describes the action of radiation into matter.
Radiobiology is a field of clinical and basic medical sciences that involves the study of the action of ionizing radiation on living things, especially health effects of radiation. Ionizing radiation is generally harmful and potentially lethal to living things but can have health benefits in radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer and thyrotoxicosis. Its most common impact is the induction of cancer with a latent period of years or decades after exposure. High doses can cause visually dramatic radiation burns, and/or rapid fatality through acute radiation syndrome. Controlled doses are used for medical imaging and radiotherapy.
In radiobiology, the relative biological effectiveness is the ratio of biological effectiveness of one type of ionizing radiation relative to another, given the same amount of absorbed energy. The RBE is an empirical value that varies depending on the type of ionizing radiation, the energies involved, the biological effects being considered such as cell death, and the oxygen tension of the tissues or so-called oxygen effect.
The Total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) is a radiation dosimetry quantity defined by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to monitor and control human exposure to ionizing radiation. It is defined differently in the NRC regulations and NRC glossary. According to the regulations, it is the sum of effective dose equivalent from external exposure and committed effective dose equivalent from internal exposure, thereby taking into account all known exposures. However, the NRC glossary defines it as the sum of the deep-dose equivalent and committed effective dose equivalent, which would appear to exclude the effective dose to the skin and eyes from non-penetrating radiation such as beta. These surface doses are included in the NRC's shallow dose equivalent, along with contributions from penetrating (gamma) radiation.
The Deep-dose equivalent (DDE) is a measure of external radiation exposure defined by US regulations. It is reported alongside eye and shallow dose equivalents on typical US dosimetry reports. It represents the dose equivalent at a tissue depth of 1 cm due to external whole-body exposure to ionizing radiation.
A gamma ray, or gamma radiation, is a penetrating electromagnetic radiation arising from the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. It consists of the shortest wavelength electromagnetic waves and so imparts the highest photon energy. Paul Villard, a French chemist and physicist, discovered gamma radiation in 1900 while studying radiation emitted by radium. In 1903, Ernest Rutherford named this radiation gamma rays based on their relatively strong penetration of matter; in 1900 he had already named two less penetrating types of decay radiation alpha rays and beta rays in ascending order of penetrating power.
Alpha particles, also called alpha ray or alpha radiation, consist of two protons and two neutrons bound together into a particle identical to a helium-4 nucleus. They are generally produced in the process of alpha decay, but may also be produced in other ways. Alpha particles are named after the first letter in the Greek alphabet, α. The symbol for the alpha particle is α or α2+. Because they are identical to helium nuclei, they are also sometimes written as He2+
indicating a helium ion with a +2 charge. If the ion gains electrons from its environment, the alpha particle becomes a normal helium atom 4
The roentgen or röntgen is a legacy unit of measurement for the exposure of X-rays and gamma rays, and is defined as the electric charge freed by such radiation in a specified volume of air divided by the mass of that air. In 1928, it was adopted as the first international measurement quantity for ionising radiation to be defined for radiation protection, as it was then the most easily replicated method of measuring air ionization by using ion chambers. It is named after the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, who discovered X-rays.
Gioacchino Failla was an Italian-born American physicist. A pioneer in both biophysics and radiobiology, he was particularly noted for his work on the role of radiation as a cause of cancer and genetic mutation. He was born in Castelbuono in the Province of Palermo and emigrated with his family to the United States in 1906. After his retirement from Columbia University's Center for Radiological Research in 1960, he was appointed Senior Scientist Emeritus in the Radiological Physics Division of the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. He was killed in a car accident near the laboratory at the age of 70.