Becquerel (SI unit)
One becquerel is a very small unit and is invariably used with a prefix, e.g. megabecquerel (MBq), gigabecquerel (GBq), terabecquerel (TBq) and, even petabecquerel (PBq) are all used.
As for all other eponymous SI units when the unit is written out in full it is not capitalised, but when shortened to its symbol it is capitalised.
History and etymology
The unit was proposed in 1975 by the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU). It is named after Antoine Henri Becquerel, the French physicist, who discovered radioactivity, and shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 with Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie 1,2. Ironically the former unit that the becquerel replaced was the curie!
- 1. Wyckoff HO, Allisy A, Lidén K. The new special names of SI units in the field of ionizing radiations. Radiology. 118 (1): 233-4. doi:10.1148/118.1.233 - Pubmed
- 2. Dobrzyńska MM. Maria Skłodowska-Curie, her life and work - the 150 anniversary of her birthday. Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny. 68 (3): 309-312. Pubmed