Preuve expérimentale de la rupture explosive des noyaux d'uranium et de thorium sous l'action des neutrons" by Frédéric Joliot-Curie and "Sur les radioelements formes dans l'uranium et le thorium irradies par les neutrons" in Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de L'Academie des Sciences 208 No. 5, 30 January 1939, pp. 341-343 and 343-346

Joliot-Curie, Frédéric WITH Marie Curie-Joliot and Paul Savitch

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FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPS OF THE FIRST INDEPENDENT CONFIRMATION OF NUCLEAR FISSION. The second paper describes the products of this fission. As well, Joliot-Curie foresaw the likelihood of a chain reaction. "At the beginning of 1939 the great German radio-chemist Otto Hahn published chemical data proving that the nucleus of a uranium atom can be split into two nuclei of similar mass by the impact of a neutron. Within a few days [and with the first of these two papers] Joliot furnished direct physical proof of the explosive character of this bipartition of the uranium atom, subsequently called fission. "In [this] elegantly simple experiment he demonstrated that the radioactive atoms produced in a thin layer of uranium by a flux of neutrons are ejected with a velocity sufficient to permit them to pass through a thin sheet of cellophane. The great kinetic energy of the fission fragments was established independently by this experiment and by the one done in Copenhagen by O. R. Frisch, who employed a proportional pulse amplifier. Pursuing the study of this phenomenon, Joliot was incontestably the first, in collaboration with Hans von Halban and Lew Kowarski, to prove that the fission of uranium atoms is accompanied or followed by an emission of neutrons (uranium submitted to a flux of slow neutrons emits rapid neutrons) and subsequently that the fission of a uranium atom induced by one neutron produces, on the average, an emission of several neutrons."It was now possible to envision, as Joliot immediately did, a process in which uranium atoms would undergo successive fissions linked in divergent chains by neutrons and consequently developing like an avalanche. Hence an immense number of atoms, constituting a ponderable mass of uranium, might be disintegrated within a relatively short time by the minute excitation due to a single neutron. The principle of the liberation of the internal energy of uranium atoms had thus been discovered, and the conditions in which the nuclear chain reactions could develop were rapidly determined" (DSB VII, 155). Subsequent to these works, Frédéric Joliot-Curie and his wife Irène established a fission research program at the Radium Institute in Paris. CONDITION & DETAILS: Complete issue in original paper wraps and housed in a custom clamshell case. Paris: Gauthier-Villars. Ex-libris with stamp on front wrap as well as a very faint stamp reading 'Printed in France'. 4to (10.25 x 8 inches; 256 x 200mm). The issue has been professionally rebacked at the spine and is tightly and solidly bound; very minor wear at the edges. Clean and bright throughout. Very good + condition. N° de ref. de la librería 646

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