A manual of radioactivity, by Georg von Hevesy

By Georg von Hevesy

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A surface coated with zinc sulphide, is caused to emit a flash of light by the incidence of every single = a-particle If we count these scintillations, positive electricity is conveyed to and determine in addition how much an electrometer from the same source of a-rays under identical conditions, we obtain the amount of charge carried by a single particle by dividing the second number by the first. The result is found to be two elementary units of charge. From this it follows that the mass of the particle has the value 4, the upon it.

II, 4 through more than 90 in the passage of the rays through thin platinum foil. These large deviations are the result of 'single scattering' for they can only originate from a single collision. The probability is vanishingly , small that the a-particle in its passage through a thin metal sheet will or more often so effectively close to an atomic nucleus. come twice If the scattering of a-rays by light atoms is observed in an intermediate angular range, multiple and single scattering may be equally important.

Moreover, the stopping power is the same for both. 3. The lonization produced by a-Rays In consequence of its large velocity, an a-particle possesses at the beginning of its path a very considerable kinetic energy amounting to about 10" 5 ergs, or roughly 10 11 times the value of the thermal energy of a helium atom at room temperature. By virtue of this kinetic energy a-particles give rise to strong ionization along their tracks by their with gas molecules. e. equal numbers of positive and of collisions THE a-RAYS 28 Chap.

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