Biography of Antoine Henri Becquerel

Antoine Henri Becquerel (1852-1908) was a French physicist who, along with Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, discovered radioactivity, a crucial contribution to the field of physics. Here’s an overview of his life and contributions:
Early Life - Career and Discoveries - Personal life - Scientific work - Nobel Prize and Later Life of Henri Becquerel
Biography of Antoine Henri Becquerel

Early Life and Education of Henri Becquerel:

Antoine Henri Becquerel was born on December 15, 1852, in Paris, France, into a family of scientists. His grandfather, Antoine César Becquerel, and father, Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel, were prominent scientists in their own right. Henri Becquerel entered the École Polytechnique in 1872 and later continued his studies at the École des Ponts et Chaussées, earning his engineering degree.

Career and Discoveries of Henri Becquerel:

Becquerel’s early work focused on the study of phosphorescence and luminescence. In 1896, inspired by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen’s discovery of X-rays, Becquerel investigated the connection between X-rays and fluorescence. He began experimenting with naturally fluorescent materials like uranium salts. During these experiments, he accidentally discovered a new phenomenon: certain substances emitted radiation without any external influence. This radiation could pass through opaque materials and fog photographic plates, suggesting a new form of energy. He termed this phenomenon “radioactivity.”
Tragically, Henri Becquerel’s career was cut short when he died at the age of 55 on August 25, 1908, from a stroke. Despite his relatively brief career, his discovery of radioactivity paved the way for groundbreaking research in nuclear physics and contributed immensely to our understanding of atomic and subatomic phenomena.

Personal life of Antoine Henri Becquerel

Becquerel married twice He married Lucy Zoe Marie Jamin in 1874. She died in 1878, soon after giving birth to her son, Jean. Jean was going to be a physicist, carrying on the family tradition. In 1890, Bakkel married Louise Dizeri Loriacs

Scientific work of Antoine Henri Becquerel

Bakerule’s early work focused on light phosphorescence and polarization of terrestrial magnetism. In 1896, he made his biggest discovery: After a discussion with Henri Poincaré on the recent discovery of radioactivity X-rays, Becquerel designed an experiment that proved the existence of this naturally occurring force. Although his initial experiments were not successful, he came to evidence of almost natural radioactivity of the accident when an unexpected reaction occurred in his laboratory. In 1903 Becquerel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, sharing the honor with Pierre and Marie Curie.

Henri Becquerel Nobel Prize and Later Life:

In 1903, Henri Becquerel was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with Pierre and Marie Curie for their discoveries in the field of radioactivity. Becquerel’s work laid the foundation for the further study of radioactivity, which led to significant advancements in physics and chemistry.

Honours and awards of Antoine Henri Becquerel

In 1907 he was elected Permanent Secretary of the Academy of Bachelor’s Sciences.
The standard unit for radioactivity is Bacrel, named after him. There is a trough by the name of Baccaral on the Moon and Mars.
Apart from the Nobel Prize for Physics, he also received these awards:
Rumford Medal
Helmholtz Medal
Bernard Medal