For our science assessment we had the task to research about a metal of our choice. Since I am really into computers, I chose copper. A metal used in all kinds of wires, cpu’s and other stuff without a computer wouldn’t work. This fits really well into what we have to do for the second part, describe how this metal has helped human society.
The pioneering work of Becquerel in 1896 (the discovery of uranium), and the Curies (who subsequently discovered radium and polonium and the energy and heat given off by these new elements which they called radioactivity) led to the remarkable work of Ernest Rutherford. He was a physicist, whose experiments showed that some heavier elements spontaneously changed or decayed into lighter elements (unstable 'parent' elements giving off protons and neutrons to form a 'daughter' element) through the process of radioactivity. He discovered that radioactive materials decay at a very predictable rate, and that lead was the final decay product of uranium. Using Rutherford's ideas, Bertram Boltwood pioneered a method of radiometric dating in 1907. He hypothesized that since he knew how long it takes uranium to break down, he could measure the proportions of lead in uranium ores, and use his calculations to date how long those ores had existed,
Radium appears as a shiny, silvery metal of high radioactivity. Radium can be “used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones,” and in the past, it was “used in luminous paints, for example in clock and watch dials” (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017). Radium is present in the environment, and people that live in areas where coal or other fuels are burning and released into the air are more exposed to higher levels of radium. Radium can enter the body by breathing or swallowing and can remain in the body for months, only exiting in small amounts by urine and feces (“Public Health Statement for Radium,” 1990). High levels of radium exposure over a long period of time are extremely dangerous to the health of an individual. The harmful effects of radium could cause “anemia, cataracts, fractured teeth, cancer (especially bone cancer), and death” (“Public Health Statement for Radium,” 1990). The greater amount of radium exposure an individual receives, the greater their chance is to developing one of these diseases (“Public Health Statement for Radium,”
Did you know that there are multiple types of uranium? The team of scientists who worked on the first atomic bomb used the “advanced” type U 235 instead of U 238. Many scientists worked on the bomb, but not many of them received credit. The project was called “Manhattan Project” which was based in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The people who helped with the Manhattan Project explored uranium, in result they exchanged many lives to win a war.
Copper is one of the earliest elements known to man. Because of its distinct red color, Copper is very easily identified. In the ancient times, copper could be found lying in the ground in its unattached state without interaction to other substances. Copper and its compounds have many uses in today’s society.
Named after Ernest Lawrence, inventor of the cyclotron and contributor to the Manhattan Project. Rutherfordium was named for Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Prize winning physicist who developed the concept of half-life, and first to name alpha and beta particles. Discovered in 1964. Seaborgium was discovered in 1974. And named after Glenn T. Seaborg, Nobel prize winning chemist who was the first to arrange the actinide series. Bohrium was discovered in 1981. And is named after Danish physicist Niels Bohr. He is known as the father of quantum physics. He is also a Nobel Prize winner. Meitnerium was Named after Lise Meitner and discovered in 1982, Meitnerium is the only element named solely after a woman. Curium officially shares the name with Pierre Curie, Marie's husband. Roentgenium was discovered in 1994.And named after Wilhelm Rontgen, discoverer of x-rays. Copernicium was discovered in 1996 and named for Nicolaus Copernicus, introduced the notion of a heliocentric model of the universe. Flerovium was discovered in 1999, the name Flerovium honors Soviet physicist Georgy Flyorov who was partially responsible for the discovery of spontaneous fission and initiating the nuclear program of the Soviet
Curie thus began studying uranium radiation and made it her doctoral thesis. With the aid of an electrometer built by Pierre, Marie measured the strength of the radiation emitted form uranium compounds and found it proportional to the uranium content, constant over a long period of time and influenced by external conditions. She detected a similar immutable radiation in the compounds of thorium. While checking these results, she made the discovery that uranium pitchblende and the mineral chalcolite emitted four times as much radiation as their uranium content. She realized that unknown elements, even more radioactive then uranium must be present.
It was first developed in the 1940s, and during the Second World War to 1945 research initially focussed on producing bombs which released great energy from the atoms of particular isotopes of either uranium or plutonium.
This is what led Curie to take Becquerel’s work a few steps further and conduct her own experiments on uranium rays. She discovered that the rays were constant no matter what form or condition of the uranium. She theorized the rays came from the atomic structure. This idea was revolutionary and created its own field in science, known as the atomic physics, this is when Marie coined the word “radioactivity” to describe the phenomena. Even when they had their first daughter Irene in 1897 there work did not slow. Pierre then stopped his own studies to help Marie with her new discovery of radioactivity. In 1898 they discovered a new radioactive element. They named it polonium after Marie’s native country, Poland. They detected the presence of another radioactive element and called this radium. In 1902 they had extracted pure radium to prove its existence as a unique chemical element.
In July of 1898, Marie and Pierre Cure discovered Polonium. They named the element after Marie's birth country, Poland. Chemically, this new element was very similar to bismuth, but it contained radioactivity, so it must be new. In December of 1898, the Curie's discovered yet another element. They named this one radium, from the Latin word for ray. The two new elements had completely different chemical properties, but they both had very strong radioactivity.
With her experiments, she became the first woman in France to get a doctorate. Curie decided to continue Henri Becquerel’s experiments with X-rays. She came up with the groundbreaking idea that the rays were actually an atomic property. The paper she wrote reporting her discoveries had to be presented through her professor because women weren’t allowed to address the Academy of Sciences. With this, she continued her work to find new elements. First, she found polonium, which is named for her home country, and then she discovered radium. Pierre and Marie’s greatest work was done in a run-down shed. They worked from 1898 to 1902. The Curies could have made a fortune if they patented their process of extracting and refining radium, but they decided share their knowledge with the world.