Energy timelines - nuclear

   
Nuclear power is the controlled use of nuclear reactions to release energy for work including propulsion, heat, and the generation of electricity. Human use of nuclear power to do significant useful work is currently limited to nuclear fission and radioactive decay. Nuclear energy is produced when a fissile material, such as uranium-235 (235U), is concentrated such that the natural rate of radioactive decay is accelerated in a controlled chain reaction and creates heat — which is used to boil water, produce steam, and drive a steam turbine.
   
   
1895
Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist, discovered x-rays.
 
1898
Marie Curie discovered the radioactive elements radium and polonium.
 
1905
Special theory of relativity written. Albert Einstein created a new era of physics when he unified mass, energy, magnetism, electricity, and light. One of the most significant events of the 20th century was Einstein's writing the formula of E=mc2: energy = mass times the square of the speed of light.
 
1927
Herman Blumgart, a Boston physician, used radioactive tracers to diagnose heart disease.
 
1938
The process of splitting uranium atoms, called nuclear fission, was demonstrated by German scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman.
 
1945
- First test of a nuclear weapon, called the “Trinity” test, in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
- U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and three days later dropped another one on Nagasaki, Japan. Japan surrendered less than two weeks later, ending World War II.
 
1949
The Soviet Union detonated its first atomic device.
 
1951
In December 1951, an experimental breeder reactor (EBR Reactor in Idaho) produced the first usable electric power from the atom, lighting four light bulbs. Scientists had already known that nuclear power could produce electricity. The purpose of the experimental EBR was to prove that a breeder reactor could produce more fuel than it used.
 
1995
Nuclear power contributed about 20 percent of the nation's electricity.
 
 
 
     

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