Life and Death Rays: Radioactive Poisoning and Radiation Exposure by Alan Perkins (University of Nottingham, UK)
This unique book provides an accessible introduction to both the scientific background and the key people involved in the discovery and use of radiation and radioactivity. It begins by providing a short history of radiation exposures and radiation poisoning; from the early inappropriate use of X-rays and radium cures through the misadventures of the Manhattan Project and the Chernobyl disaster, to the high-profile and deliberate poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in London with polonium-210, which gave rise to worldwide media attention.
The chapters provide a catalogue of deliberate criminal acts, unfortunate accidents, and inadvertent radiation exposures, exploring well-known events in detail, as well as some not so well-known occurrences. It works through the topics by focusing on human stories and events and their biological impact. In addition, it covers descriptions of the beneficial uses of radiation and radioactivity.
This book can be enjoyed by any reader with a general interest in science, as well as by students and professionals within the scientific and medical communities.
- Authored by a subject area specialist who has worked in both clinical practice and academia and was involved with the national media following incidents of national and international importance
- Provides a unique human perspective into well-known and some lesser known events and a concise history of the discovery of radiation and the events that followed
- Adds scientific and medical background to a subject of high media interest