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History of Radiation Timeline
Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen discovers x‑rays.
Antoine-Henri Becquerel discovers rays produced by uranium, the first observation of natural radioactivity.
Concerns first raised about possible injuries from x‑ray exposures. Elihu Thomson conducts experiments on x‑ray burns.
Marie and Pierre Curie discover polonium and announce the existence of another new radioactive element they name radium.
Marie and Pierre Curie discover that thorium gives off "uranium rays," which Marie renames "radioactivity."
Paul Ulrich Villard discovers gamma rays
Ernst Rutherford discovers that radioactivity from uranium has at least two different forms, which he calls alpha and beta rays.
Rutherford discovers the principle of half-life and sets forth his laws on radioactive decay.
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