INSCRIBED BY NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING CHEMIST FREDERICK SODDY
SODDY, Frederick. (Isotopes). (London: John Murray), . Octavo, staple-bound as issued, original gray paper wrappers; pp. 17. $3200.
First separate edition of Soddy's 1952 lecture to the Second Meeting of Nobel Prize Winners, inscribed on the front wrapper: "With the Author's Compliments-Frederick Soddy," and additionally labeled "Isotopes" in his hand.
A pioneer in atomic theory, Soddy was Rutherford's collaborator in, among other things, the crucial alpha-ray experiments that led to their revolutionary disintegration theory of radioactivity. Together, "they showed how the radioactive element thorium decayed at a fixed rate over time into a series of other elements… [which] led to the concept of 'half life'" (Simmons, The Scientific 100 19). As a result of their experiments in radioactivity, Soddy independently became the first to recognize that chemically identical atoms of different atomic weights were all varieties of the same atom, leading him to coin the term "isotope" (Jenkins-Jones, 446). In 1921, he was awarded the Nobel Prize "for his contributions to the knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances and his investigations on the occurrence and nature of isotopes" (Callum & Taylor, 143). First published in Number 123 of The School Science Review in March of 1953.