Radium was discovered by Madame Marie Curie and Pier Curie. The name “radium” comes from the Latin word “radius”, meaning ray. Radium is a shining radioactive metal. Radioactive means that its nuclear center is very unstable and this element breaks down very rapidly. In order to break, it emits several rays and gives off a glow. The radium molecule radiates and the rays emit as alpha, beta and gamma rays, which are extremely dangerous. It is obtained from uranium ore. When uranium is purified, radium is available as its byproduct. It used to be in glowing paints, aircraft switches, watch dials, nuclear panels, dentistry, hair cream, etc. Later its adverse consequences on health were revealed. Due to this, its use was stopped in the manufacture of paints, clothes, medicines etc. It is also used in the treatment of cancer.
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