Burkser E.S. – The first researcher of natural radioactivity in Ukraine


  • The formation of the radiological center in Odessa and its impact on radiobiology is shown.
    The contribution of scientific works and E.S.Burksera’s ideas to radiobiology development in Ukraine
    is set. The first radiological laboratory in Tsar’s Russia was created on March, 10 in 1910 in Odessa
    in the Russian technical society on the initiative and under the direction of graduate of the
    Novorosiyskiy university E.S.Burkser. The laboratory was not limited to the task of the Russian
    technical society, and from 1911 began to study radio-activity of different natural objects, including
    algae, fish, plankton, plants and other living objects.
    An important contribution Odessa radiological laboratory made to the study of the accumulation
    of radioactive elements by plants and other living organisms. The natural radioactivity and influence
    of X-rays on plants and animals in the center of Odessa began doing since its inception. In 1914
    E.S. Burkser published the article “The influence of the radioactive elements on plants”, in which he
    cited a series of experiments from the study of radio-activity in the seeds of plants of various kinds
    – moss, pea, boxwood, rye, radio-activity of ash of plants in comparison with radioactivity of mountain
    In this article Evgen Samoylovich described the action of radium radiation on bacteria
    and fungi, showing the stimulating effect of small doses of radiation. The work also highlights
    the different conditions of influence of ionizing radiation on the germination and growth of seed
    plants. The results of experiments made a conclusion about the stimulating effect of small
    doses of radiation on the germination and plant growth .
    Teaching assumed that the radioactivity associated with the chemical processes of a living
    organism, in which the radioactive gases. In 1927, E.S.Burkser with the staff of the Odesa
    Chemical and Radiological Institute – I.Bruno and C.Bronstein studied the radio-activity of
    plants in the ionization chamber. The experiments have shown that the radio-activity of plants is
    very low, in the dry plants it was not fixed, and between fresh and withered plants were observed
    her minor fluctuations. The scientists assumed that the radio-activity associated with the chemical
    processes of a living organism, in which are the radioactive gases.
    The results did not satisfy the experimenters, so they have proposed a new methodology for
    the study of determination of the concentration of radium in plants and living organisms, and
    methodology for the identification of the content of thorium in plants. The application of new techniques
    made it possible to establish the quantitative composition of radioactive elements in plants.

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