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Henri Becquerel and overwork

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If you said that Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radiation, you’d be almost right. When the Curies found radioactivity coming from thorium, they were following up on Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactive particles emanating from uranium. Becquerel and the Curies shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903.

Becquerel went on to many more discoveries and became the namesake of the Becquerel, the basic unit of radioactivity.

But with dedication to one’s work often comes disregard for one’s health. Becquerel died suddenly at age 55, probably from handling radioactive stones.

The lesson: Keep Becquerel in mind when burning the candle at both ends.

— Adapted from Marie Curie: A Life, Susan Quinn, Da Capo Press.

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