Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Alpha Particle

Alpha Particle Quotes (5 quotes)

It was quite the most incredible event that has ever happened to me in my life. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.
[Recalling in 1936 the discovery of the nucleus in 1909, when some alpha particles were observed instead of travelling through a very thin gold foil were seen to rebound backward, as if striking something much more massive than the particles themselves.]
Quoted in Abraham Pais, Inward Bound (1986), 189, from E. N. da C. Andrade, Rutherford and the nature of the atom, (1964) 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Back (390)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Event (216)  |  Gold (97)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Incredible (41)  |  Life (1795)  |  Massive (9)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Observed (149)  |  Paper (182)  |  Particle (194)  |  Shell (63)  |  Something (719)  |  Striking (48)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Through (849)  |  Tissue (45)  |  Travelling (17)

Over the last century, physicists have used light quanta, electrons, alpha particles, X-rays, gamma-rays, protons, neutrons and exotic sub-nuclear particles for this purpose [scattering experiments]. Much important information about the target atoms or nuclei or their assemblage has been obtained in this way. In witness of this importance one can point to the unusual concentration of scattering enthusiasts among earlier Nobel Laureate physicists. One could say that physicists just love to perform or interpret scattering experiments.
Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1994), in Tore Frδngsmyr (ed.), Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1994 (1995).
Science quotes on:  |  Assemblage (17)  |  Atom (355)  |  Century (310)  |  Concentration (29)  |  Electron (93)  |  Enthusiast (7)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Gamma Ray (3)  |  Gamma-Ray (2)  |  Importance (286)  |  Information (166)  |  Interpretation (85)  |  Last (426)  |  Light (607)  |  Love (309)  |  Neutron (17)  |  Nobel Laureate (3)  |  Nuclear (107)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Particle (194)  |  Perform (121)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Physics (533)  |  Point (580)  |  Proton (21)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Ray (114)  |  Say (984)  |  Scattering (4)  |  Target (9)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Way (1217)  |  Witness (54)  |  X-ray (37)

Some months ago we discovered that certain light elements emit positrons under the action of alpha particles. Our latest experiments have shown a very striking fact: when an aluminium foil is irradiated on a polonium preparation [alpha ray emitter], the emission of positrons does not cease immediately when the active preparation is removed: the foil remains radioactive and the emission of radiation decays exponentially as for an ordinary radio-element. We observed the same phenomenon with boron and magnesium.
[Co-author with Irθne Joliot-Curie. This one-page paper reported their discovery of artificial radioactivity for which they were awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.]
Letter to the Editor, 'Artificial Production of a New Kind of Radio-Element'(10 Jan 1934) published in Nature (1934), 133, 201-2. Cited in Mauro Dardo, Nobel Laureates and Twentieth-Century Physics (2004), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Active (76)  |  Alpha Ray (3)  |  Aluminium (3)  |  Artificial (33)  |  Author (167)  |  Award (13)  |  Boron (4)  |  Cease (79)  |  Certain (550)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Decay (53)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Element (310)  |  Emission (17)  |  Emit (15)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Exponential (3)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Foil (3)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Light (607)  |  Magnesium (4)  |  Month (88)  |  Nobel Prize (40)  |  Observation (555)  |  Observed (149)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Paper (182)  |  Particle (194)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Polonium (5)  |  Positron (4)  |  Preparation (58)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Radio (50)  |  Radioactive (22)  |  Radioactivity (30)  |  Ray (114)  |  Remain (349)  |  Striking (48)

The incomplete knowledge of a system must be an essential part of every formulation in quantum theory. Quantum theoretical laws must be of a statistical kind. To give an example: we know that the radium atom emits alpha-radiation. Quantum theory can give us an indication of the probability that the alpha-particle will leave the nucleus in unit time, but it cannot predict at what precise point in time the emission will occur, for this is uncertain in principle.
The Physicist's Conception of Nature (1958), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Emit (15)  |  Essential (199)  |  Formulation (36)  |  Incomplete (30)  |  Indication (33)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Occur (150)  |  Particle (194)  |  Point (580)  |  Precise (68)  |  Predict (79)  |  Principle (507)  |  Probability (130)  |  Quantum (117)  |  Quantum Physics (18)  |  Quantum Theory (66)  |  Radiation (44)  |  Radioactivity (30)  |  Radium (25)  |  System (537)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Uncertain (44)  |  Uncertainty (56)  |  Will (2355)

We have seen that a proton of energy corresponding to 30,000 volts can effect the transformation of lithium into two fast α-particles, which together have an energy equivalent of more than 16 million volts. Considering the individual process, the output of energy in the transmutation is more than 500 times greater than the energy carried by the proton. There is thus a great gain of energy in the single transmutation, but we must not forget that on an average more than 1000 million protons of equal energy must be fired into the lithium before one happens to hit and enter the lithium nucleus. It is clear in this case that on the whole the energy derived from transmutation of the atom is small compared with the energy of the bombarding particles. There thus seems to be little prospect that we can hope to obtain a new source of power by these processes. It has sometimes been suggested, from analogy with ordinary explosives, that the transmutation of one atom might cause the transmutation of a neighbouring nucleus, so that the explosion would spread throughout all the material. If this were true, we should long ago have had a gigantic explosion in our laboratories with no one remaining to tell the tale. The absence of these accidents indicates, as we should expect, that the explosion is confined to the individual nucleus and does not spread to the neighbouring nuclei, which may be regarded as relatively far removed from the centre of the explosion.
The Transmutation of the Atom (1933), 23-4
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (18)  |  Accident (88)  |  All (4108)  |  Analogy (71)  |  Atom (355)  |  Atomic Bomb (111)  |  Average (82)  |  Bombardment (3)  |  Cause (541)  |  Centre (28)  |  Confinement (4)  |  Effect (393)  |  Energy (344)  |  Enter (141)  |  Equivalent (45)  |  Expect (200)  |  Explosion (44)  |  Explosive (23)  |  Forget (115)  |  Gain (145)  |  Gigantic (40)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greater (288)  |  Happen (274)  |  Hope (299)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Indication (33)  |  Individual (404)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Lithium (3)  |  Little (707)  |  Long (790)  |  Material (353)  |  Million (114)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Neighbor (11)  |  New (1216)  |  Nucleus (49)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Output (10)  |  Particle (194)  |  Power (746)  |  Process (423)  |  Prospect (30)  |  Proton (21)  |  Regard (305)  |  Remaining (45)  |  Single (353)  |  Small (477)  |  Source (93)  |  Spread (83)  |  Suggestion (46)  |  Tell (340)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Time (1877)  |  Together (387)  |  Transformation (69)  |  Transmutation (22)  |  Two (937)  |  Whole (738)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.