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Frederick Soddy
local time: 2017-03-29 19:02 (+00:00 )
Frederick Soddy About
World Science Database Profile
(Died: September 22, 1956)
Interests: Relativity Age: 79

Frederick Soddy was an English radiochemist, who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1921.

In 1903, with Sir William Ramsay at University College London, Soddy verified that the decay of radium produced alpha particles composed of positively charged nuclei of helium. In the experiment a sample of radium was enclosed in a thin walled glass envelope sited within an evacuated glass bulb. Alpha particles could pass through the thin glass wall but were contained within the surrounding glass envelope. After leaving the experiment running for a long period of time a spectral analysis of the contents of the former evacuated space revealed the presence of helium. This element had recently been discovered in the solar spectrum by Bunsen and Kirchoff.[1]

From 1904 to 1914, Soddy was a lecturer at the University of Glasgow and while there he showed that uranium decays to radium. It was here also that he showed that a radioactive element may have more than one atomic mass though the chemical properties are identical. He named this concept isotope meaning 'same place' - the word 'isotope' was initially suggested to him by Margaret Todd. Later, J.J. Thomson showed that non-radioactive elements can also have multiple isotopes. Soddy also showed that an atom moves lower in atomic number by two places on alpha emission, higher by one place on beta emission. This was a fundamental step toward understanding the relationships among families of radioactive elements.

Soddy published The Interpretation of Radium (1909) and Atomic Transmutation (1953). In 1914 he was appointed to a chair at the University of Aberdeen, where he worked on research related to World War I. In 1919 he moved to Oxford University as Dr Lee's Professor of Chemistry, where, in the period up till 1936, he reorganized the laboratories and the syllabus in chemistry. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research in radioactive decay and particularly for his formulation of the theory of isotopes. - Wikipedia

Soddy was a critic of Einsteinian relativity, and organized what was probably the first conference dedicated to alternative approaches in 1954.