Physics in Perspective

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 367–383 | Cite as

Paul Villard and his Discovery of Gamma Rays

  • Leif Gerward


The discovery of gamma rays by the relatively unknown French physicist Paul Villard is described in its historical context. From the beginning Villard gave a correct interpretation of the new rays, but his discovery was largely overlooked by the scientific community. A major reason for the small interest in gamma rays at the time was that they apparently did not fit into the picture that contemporary scientists had on the material nature of atomic radiations.

Key words: Gamma rays; discovery; Paul Villard. 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif Gerward
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics, Building 307, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark, e-mail: gerward@fysik.dtu.dkDK

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