We thus see that radium is continually losing matter and energy as electricity; it is also losing energy as heat, for, as was observed by Curie and Laborde, the temperature of a radium salt is always a degree or two above that of the atmosphere, and they estimated that a gramme of pure radium would emit about 100 gramme-calories per hour.
Turning to the study of radioactivity, he noticed its association with the minerals which yield helium, and in support of the hypothesis that that gas is a disintegration-product of radium he proved in 1903 that it is continuously formed by the latter substance in quantities sufficiently great to be directly recognizable in the spectroscope.
An authority on precious stones, and especially the diamond, he succeeded in artificially making some minute specimens of the latter gem; and on the discovery of radium he was one of the first to take up the study of its properties, in particular inventing the spinthariscope, an instrument in which the effects of a trace of radium salt are manifested by the phosphorescence produced on a zinc sulphide screen.
Physics and Chemistry.-Bulletin des sciences physiques (1888); L'Eclairage electrique (1894); Le Radium (1904); Revue generale des sciences pures et appliquees (1890); Revue pratique de l'electriciti (1892).
These Figures Refer To The State Of The Wire Immediately After The Exposure; The Rate Of Decay Is Much More Rapid For The Radium Than For The Thorium Emanation.
About the beginning of the 10th century, however, the view was promulgated that the spontaneous production of helium from radium may be an instance of the transformation of one element into another.
The striking discovery was, in 1903, made by the same investigators that the spontaneous luminosity of radium gives a spectrum of a kind never before obtained without the aid of powerful excitation, electrical or thermal.
The study of radium and radioactivity (see Radioactivity) led before long to the further remarkable knowledge that these so-called radioactive materials project into surrounding space particles or corpuscles, some of which are identical with those projected from the cathode in a high vacuum tube, together with others of a different nature.
The diseases to which the application has been hitherto confined are papillomata, lupus vulgaris, epithelial tumours, syphilitic ulcers, pigmentary naevi, angiomata, and pruritus and chronic itching of the skin; but the use of radium in therapeutics is still experimental.
The national debt amounted to some 40 billion crowns, against which the state itself possessed assets in the shape of forests, coal mines, the former domains of the Habsburgs, mineral, naphtha, radium and other sources of natural wealth, besides the State-owned railways.