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The Atomic Age Was Born 75 Years Ago

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Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
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Over Christmas vacation in 1938, physicists Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch received puzzling scientific news in a private letter from nuclear chemist Otto Hahn. When bombarding uranium with neutrons, Hahn had made some surprising observations that went against everything known at the time about the dense cores of atoms – their nuclei.

Meitner and Frisch were able to provide an explanation for what he saw that would revolutionize the field of nuclear physics: A uranium nucleus could split in half – or fission, as they called it – producing two new nuclei, called fission fragments. More importantly, this fission process releases huge amounts of energy. This finding at the dawn of World War II was the start of a scientific and military race to understand and use this new atomic source of power.

Physicist Leo Szilard made an important realization: if fission emits neutrons, and neutrons can induce fission, then neutrons from the fission of one nucleus could cause the fission of another nucleus. It could all cascade in a self-sustained “chain” process.

Fission.jpg

Thus began the quest to experimentally prove that a nuclear chain reaction was possible – and 75 years ago, researchers at the University of Chicago succeeded, opening the door to what would become the nuclear era. It was here they obtained world’s the first controlled nuclear chain reaction on December 2, 1942.

This article about the beginning of the atomic age and more at: The Conversation

And all this started just a couple years before I was born, I'm not a baby boomer, I'm an Atomic Kid.
o_O
BF