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Kwart Hist Nauki Tech. 2012;57(1):71-88.

[The development of radiation technologies since Maria Skłodowska-Curie].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Instytut Chemii i Techniki Jadrowej, Warszawa.


The article was written on the occasion of the 100. anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Maria Skłodowska-Curie. The United Nations General Assembly honoured this event by announcing the year 2011 the International Year of Chemistry. Maria Skłodowska-Curie was i.a. the initiator of radiation chemistry, a branch of science analyzing the chemical effects that matter shows when exposed to ionizing radiation. The development of this branch resulted in radiation technologies' applications in many fields of industry, medicine, agriculture, protection of the environment, space research and science. Our point of departure was the article Sur l'etude des courbes de probabilité relatives a l'action des rayons X sur les bacilles that Maria Skłodowska-Curie published in 1929 in the Bulletin of the Académie des sciences. In this study, she presented--for the first time ever--the curves of the so called radiation inactivation, i.e. the relationship between the bacteria life expectancy and the dose of radiation absorbed by it. From the today's point of view, it can be stated that the researcher laid the foundations of the methods of radiation sterilization and material processing by means of radiation. In this context, we recall the history of the first accelerator installation devised and built in 1968 at the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology in Warsaw. Basing on experiences with the linear electron accelerator, the LAE 13/9 was completed in 1992 as the so far only Polish industrial installation for radiation sterilization of medical products and transplants as well as for food irradiation.

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