Henri Becquerel was born in Paris on December 15th, in the year of 1852. His family was comprised of all scientists and geniuses. His father was a professor of Applied Physics. Henri entered Polytechnic when he was just twenty years old. Five years later he became and engineer for Pontset-Chaussees, which was a government department. Seventeen years later, he was promoted to the position of engineer-in-chief. When he was at the age of thirty-six, he officially became a doctor in sciences. Soon after, he succeeded his father’s position as the Chairman of Applied Physics. In 1982, he became the Professor of Applied Physics in the Department of Natural History at the Paris Museum, which was a higher position than even his Father had reached. Around this time, Becquerel began collecting information that would result in huge scientific developments.
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Henri began his experimentation with his fascination of the polarization of light. He became infatuated with absorption of light crystals and just about everything related to this subject. The absorption of light into crystals actually became his doctorate thesis. Another subject that he was fascinated with was the phenomenon of magnetism. Soon after this, in 1896, all these studies were immediately put on hold. This is because of a very important discovery made be Becquerel. This personal breakthrough for Becquerel was the discovery of natural radioactivity. However, his early studies would come in handy at this point in his career. This is because around the time of his discovery was the development of the X-ray. Becquerel made keen observations and studied the radiation that is apparent in X-rays. He decided, at this point, to see if there was a connection between the X-ray and phosphorescence, which he had studied in depth before. He had some Uranium salts, which were given to him by his father. When he put the salt near a photographic plate, covered with opaque paper, the plates seemed to fog up.