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The Evolution of Matter as Revealed by the Radio-Active Elements." The Wilde Lecture VIII, 16 March 1904.

SODDY, Frederick:

Editorial: Manchester: Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 1904., 1904
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First Edition of one of Soddy's "most important lectures" (D.S.B.). From Vol. 48, Part II, of Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, Session 1903-1904. Original printed wrappers. Spine worn, especially near head. Wrappers a bit worn and soiled. Else Very Good. Scarce. "Soddy's most important lectures were The Wilde Lecture VIII, 'The Evolution of Matter as Revealed by the Radioactive Elements,' 16 March 1904, in Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 48 (1904) . " (Thaddeus Trenn in D.S.B. 12: 508). ".'Metabalon was a term introduced by Rutherford and Soddy to distinguish a radioactive element from a stable one. It did not find favour with scientists generally, and its use was soon abandoned. Soddy continued [in his Wilde Lecture], 'The average life of a metabalon may be compared with the atomic weight in the case of a stable atom as a constant well suited for its experimental identification'. This was a percipient remark: it carried the germ of the prediction made thirteen years later. that atomic species may exist having different radioactive constants -- that is, different mean lifetimes -- but the same atomic weight. At this stage in his lecture Soddy made a remark which was to characterise his whole attitude to the problem in the future. It consisted of a statement of fact, and a comment on that statement. The face was incontrovertible; the comment disclosed the philosophy of the speaker. It was the philosophy of determinism, which in the years ahead was to become less and less acceptable to the physicists of the day. Soddy said, 'It may be pointed out that the actual life of the different atoms of the same unstable element has all values between zero and infinity' -- that was the true statement; then the comment, 'This constitutes the first difference in properties between the individual atoms of the same element that has ever been discovered.' Note the term 'properties'. Soddy had an unrivalled command of the English language; when he wrote 'properties', we must believe that the word matched his intentions as precisely as the language permitted. . it must be admitted that Soddy was not unaware of a possible alternative point of view, even in 1904. In his Manchester lecture he had written 'Radioactivity is a property contributed by a few atoms only in any given instant. For many purposes, however, a property which is contributed by a constant fraction of the total is indistinguishable from a property possessed by each atom in common'. Here he pointed the way to the alternative viewpoint, but he did not pursue it: it had no place in his philosophy" (Norman Feather, "Isotopes, Isomers, and the Fundamental Law", pp. 60-1 in George B. Kauffman (ed.), Frederick Soddy (1877-1956): Early Pioneer in Radiochemistry, 1986). Frederick Soddy: Nobel Prize, Chemistry, 1921, "for his contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin and nature of isotopes.". N° de ref. de la librería 08251

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Título: The Evolution of Matter as Revealed by the ...

Editorial: Manchester: Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 1904.

Año de publicación: 1904

Encuadernación: Soft cover

Edición: 1st Edition

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