History of Chemisty: Nuclear Power Essay

1945 Words 8 Pages
Nuclear power is a very broad field that is compromised by many aspects of science including physics and chemistry. It was discovered in the early 1900s. It is a power source widely used by the United States due to the shear amount of energy that can be created from just two atoms. Nuclear fission, the most widely used form of nuclear power, creates incredible amounts energy incredibly efficiently and due to this it is actually really popular. Nuclear power is hailed to be eco-friendly but it is argued that the radioactive wastes and the constant potential for something to go wrong is too great a risk to the environment and people.
1. A Not So Brief History
In 1789 German chemist Martin Klaproth discovered uranium, naming after Uranus. It was not until the late 1800s that radiation was discovered. It was around this time that scientists found that certain elements gave off alpha, beta, and gamma radiation (“Outline History of Nuclear Energy”). Pierre and Marie Curie coined the term radioactivity in 1896 to name the phenomenon of an element emitting alpha, beta, and/or gamma waves. In 1911 naturally radioactive elements were found to have many isotopes with the same chemistry. James Chadwick discovered the neutron in 1932, the same year that Cockcroft and Walton discovered that bombarding atoms with accelerated protons caused nuclear transformations in the atoms. Two years later Irene Curie and Frederic Joliot found that these nuclear transformations created artificial…

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