Marie Curie used an electroscope to study the radioactivity or Uranium ores. The electroscope is a fairly simple device comprised of a metal rod with two thin leaves attached to one end. If the electroscope is given a negative charge, the metal leaves will separate from each other. It is this characteristic that makes the electroscope useful as a detection device. A negatively charged electroscope will discharge when ions in the air remove electrons from it, and consequently, a positively charged electroscope will discharge when it takes electrons from the air around it. The rate of discharge of the electroscope is a measure of ions in the air and can be used as a basis of measurement and detection.
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