New knowledge of atomic, and nuclear physics ended centuries of speculation on the state and nature of matter. Knowledge of the atom and atomic processes emerged from studies of the particles that emerged from naturally occurring elements.
Additional information continues to emerge from observations of new particles formed in the interaction of accelerated particles including heavy ions, with different natural materials high energy acceleratiors on earth and by the observation of high energy cosmic events.
An important history of the key people and their accomplishments who worked on the atomic bomb project is presented by Rhodes in his book the Making of the Atom Bomb. Other histories of biomedical aspects of the Manhattan Project are given by Creager, and Lenoir and Hays. A review of the European History of Nuclear Medicine includes interviews with pioneers whose work started after World War II. After 1947 restrictions on US shipment of radioactive materials were lifted and countries outside the United States began to receive their first post war shipments of radioactive tracers.
The early days in the evolution of radioisotope imaging in the UK (1950-2000) are well described by Ralph McCready on his nuclear medicine memories web page. The topics include tumor localization, radioisotope scanning, and therapy and a wide range of applications. To check it out click here. The link to 2000. Milestones in Nuclear Medicine provides an excellent historical overview.
A detailed review with pictures of UK pioneers is given in the “Development of Physics Applied to Medicine in the UK, 1945-1990” in a document by DA Christie and EM Tansey.
The above materials provide a wealth of important information not otherwise easily available on the early history of nuclear medicine in the UK.