Each emission of an alpha or beta ray accompanies the transmutation of an atom; the energy communicated to these rays comes from inside the atom.
It was at the beginning of 1934 while working on the emission of these positive electrons that we noticed a fundamental difference between that transmutation and all the others so far produced; all the reactions of nuclear chemistry induced were instantaneous phenomena, explosions.
The time necessary for the disappearance of half the atoms, called the half-life, is a fundamental characteristic of each radio-element; according to the substance, the value of the half-life varies between a fraction of a second and millions of years.
We have shown that it is possible to create a radioactivity characterized by the emission of positive or negative electrons in boron and magnesium by bombardment with alpha rays.
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