FACTOID # 16: In the 2000 Presidential Election, Texas gave Ralph Nader the 3rd highest popular vote count of any US state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Nuclear technology
A residential smoke detector is for most people the most familiar piece of nuclear technology
Enlarge
A residential smoke detector is for most people the most familiar piece of nuclear technology

Nuclear technology is technology that involves the reactions of atomic nuclei. It has found applications from smoke detectors to nuclear reactors, and from gun sights to nuclear weapons. There is a great deal of public concern about its possible implications, and every application of nuclear technology is reviewed with care. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... A smoke detector or smoke alarm is an active fire protection device, subject to stringent bounding, that detects airborne smoke and issues an audible alarm, thereby alerting nearby people to the danger of fire. ... In nuclear physics, a nuclear reaction is a process in which two nuclei or nuclear particles collide, to produce different products than the initial products. ... A semi-accurate depiction of the helium atom. ... A smoke detector or smoke alarm is an active fire protection device, subject to stringent bounding, that detects airborne smoke and issues an audible alarm, thereby alerting nearby people to the danger of fire. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... A sight is an optical device used to assist aim by guiding the eye. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ...


History

In 1896, Henri Becquerel was investigating phosphorescence in uranium salts when he discovered a new phenomenon which came to be called radioactivity. He, Pierre Curie and Marie Curie began investigating the phenomenon. In the process they isolated the element radium, which is highly radioactive. They discovered that radioactive materials produce intense, penetrating rays of several distinct sorts, which they called alpha rays, beta rays and gamma rays. Some of these kinds of radiation could pass through ordinary matter, and all of them could cause damage in large amounts - all the early researchers received various radiation burns, much like sunburn, and thought little of it. Antoine Henri Becquerel (December 15, 1852 – August 25, 1908) was a French physicist, Nobel laureate, and one of the discoverers of radioactivity. ... Phosphorescent powder under visible light, ultraviolet light, and total darkness. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ... Radioactivity may mean: Look up radioactivity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Pierre Curie (May 15, 1859, Paris – April 19, 1906, Paris) was a French physicist and a pioneer in the study of crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity. ... Maria Skłodowska-Curie. ... General Name, Symbol, Number radium, Ra, 88 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 7, s Appearance silvery white metallic Atomic mass (226) g/mol Electron configuration [Rn] 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha particles (named after the first letter in the Greek alphabet, α) are a highly ionizing form of particle radiation which have low penetration. ... Alpha radiation consists of helium nuclei and is readily stopped by a sheet of paper. ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... A radiation burn is damage to the skin or other biological tissue caused by exposure to ionizing radiation. ...


The new phenomenon of radioactivity was seized upon by the manufacturers of quack medicine (as had the discoveries of electricity and magnetism, earlier), and any number of patent medicines and treatments involving radioactivity were put forward. Gradually it came to be realized that the radiation produced by radioactive decay was ionizing radiation, and that quantities too small to burn presented a severe long-term hazard. Many of the scientists working on radioactivity died of cancer as a result of their exposure. Radioactive patent medicines mostly disappeared, but other applications of radioactive materials persisted, such as the use of radium salts to produce glowing dials on meters. Quackery is the practice of fraudulent medicine, usually in order to make money or for ego gratification and power. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ... In physics, magnetism is one of the phenomena by which materials exert an attractive or repulsive force on other materials. ... Patent medicine is the term given to various medical compounds sold under a variety of names and labels, though they were for the most part actually trademarked medicines, not patented. ... Ionizing radiation has many practical uses, but it is also dangerous to human health. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis. ...


As the atom came to be better understood, the nature of radioactivity became clearer: some atomic nuclei are unstable, and they can decay, releasing energy (in the form of gamma rays, high-energy photons) and nuclear fragments (alpha particles, a pair of protons and a pair of neutrons, and beta particles, high-energy electrons). Properties For other articles with similar names, see Atom (disambiguation). ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... The word light is defined here as electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength; thus, X-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet light, microwaves, radio waves, and visible light are all forms of light. ... An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha particles (named after the first letter in the Greek alphabet, α) are a highly ionizing form of particle radiation which have low penetration. ... Properties [1][2] In physics, the proton (Greek proton = first) is a subatomic particle with an electric charge of one positive fundamental unit (1. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Alpha radiation consists of helium nuclei and is readily stopped by a sheet of paper. ... The electron is a fundamental subatomic particle that carries an electric charge. ...


During World War II, nuclear reactions were sufficiently well understood that all the factions began to see the possibility of constructing a nuclear weapon. Nuclear reactions release far more energy per reaction than chemical reactions, so if large numbers of reactions could be induced to occur at once, tremendous amounts of energy could be released. The British and the Americans set up the Manhattan Project under the direction of Robert Oppenheimer to build such a device. Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... In nuclear physics, a nuclear reaction is a process in which two nuclei or nuclear particles collide, to produce different products than the initial products. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... The Manhattan Project resulted in the development of the first nuclear weapons, and the first-ever nuclear detonation, at the Trinity test of July 16, 1945. ... J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb served as the first director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, beginning in 1943. ...


Radioactivity is generally a slow and difficult process to control, and is unsuited to building a weapon. However, other nuclear reactions are possible. In particular, a sufficiently unstable nucleus can undergo nuclear fission, breaking into two smaller nuclei and releasing energy and some fast neutrons. This neutron could, if captured by another nucleus, cause that nucleus to undergo fission as well. The process could then continue in a nuclear chain reaction. Such a chain reaction could release a vast amount of energy in a short amount of time. The design of a nuclear weapon is more complicated than it might seem - it is quite difficult to ensure that such a chain reaction consumes a significant fraction of the fuel before the device flies apart. The construction of a nuclear weapon is also more difficult than it might seem, as no naturally-occurring substance is sufficiently unstable for this process to occur. One isotope of uranium, namely uranium-235, is naturally-occurring and sufficiently unstable, but it is always found mixed with the stable isotope uranium-238. Thus a complicated and difficult process of isotope separation must be performed to obtain uranium-235. Alternatively, the element plutonium possesses an isotope that is sufficiently unstable for this process to be usable. Plutonium does not occur naturally, so it must be manufactured in a nuclear reactor. Ultimately, the Manhattan Project manufactured nuclear weapons based on each of these. The first atomic bomb was detonated in a test code-named "Trinity", at Alamogordo on July 16, 1945. After much debate on the morality of using such a horrifying weapon, two bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese surrender followed shortly. For the generation of electrical power by fission, see Nuclear power plant An induced nuclear fission event. ... A fast neutron is a free neutron with a kinetic energy level close to 1 MeV (10 TJ/kg, hence a speed of 14,000 km/s. ... A chain reaction is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or by-product causes additional reactions. ... The first nuclear weapons, though large, cumbersome and inefficient, provided the basic design building blocks of all future weapons. ... An isotope is any of several different forms of an element each having different atomic mass. ... Isotope separation is the process of concentrating specific isotopes of a chemical element by removing other isotopes, for example separating natural uranium into enriched uranium and depleted uranium. ... General Name, Symbol, Number plutonium, Pu, 94 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass (244) g/mol Electron configuration [Rn] 5f6 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 24, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... An early stage in the Trinity fireball, photographed by Berlyn Brixner. ... Alamogordo is a city located in Otero County, New Mexico, United States of America. ... For other uses, see Hiroshima (disambiguation). ... Nagasaki City Hall Mayor {{{Mayor}}} Address 〒850-8685 Nagasaki-shi, Sakura-machi 2-22 Phone number 095-825-5151 Official website: www1. ...


The nations that could afford to began nuclear weapons programs, developing ever more destructive bombs in an arms race to obtain what they called a nuclear deterrent. Throughout the Cold War, the opposing powers had huge nuclear arsenals, sufficient to kill hundreds of millions of people. Generations of people grew up under the shadow of nuclear devastation. An Arms Race is a competition between two or more countries for military supremacy. ... Mutual assured destruction (MAD) is the doctrine of military strategy in which a full scale use of nuclear weapons by one of two opposing sides would result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. ... For other uses, please see Cold War (disambiguation). ...


However, the tremendous energy release in the detonation of a nuclear weapon also suggested the possibility of a new energy source. Nuclear power plants were built to generate household electric power. Nuclear submarines were built, able to travel at speed while submerged for months at a time. Nuclear ships were built, primarily aircraft carriers, although a few icebreakers were built. Research projects were started into the possibility of nuclear-powered aircraft and nuclear thermal rockets. yo yo yo my home peeps of the foshizzling world. ... USS Los Angeles A submarine is a specialized watercraft that can operate underwater. ... Nuclear marine propulsion is propulsion of a Merchant ship powered by a nuclear reactor. ... This article is becoming very long. ... US Coast Guard icebreakers near McMurdo Station, February 2002 Icebreaker Polarstern An icebreaker is a special purpose ship designed to move and navigate through ice-covered marine environments. ... An Airbus A380, currently the worlds largest airliner An aircraft is any vehicle or craft capable of atmospheric flight. ... In a nuclear thermal rocket a working fluid, usually hydrogen, is heated in a high temperature nuclear reactor, and then expands through a rocket nozzle to create thrust. ...


The first generations of nuclear reactors were built to produce power; nuclear safety was a secondary consideration. However, as more nuclear reactors were built, it became clear that they were complex devices in which failures were extremely dangerous. Early safety features were primarily concerned with the exposure of operators to intense radiation. However, it was gradually realized that the release of radioactive material into the environment, called radioactive contamination, was also potentially serious. Radioactive isotopes of common elements are chemically very similar to non-radioactive isotopes, so the human body may take up the radioactive materials and deposit them in the bones, thyroid, lungs, or elsewhere. The radioactive materials then decay in place, often leading to cancer. Nuclear safety is a term which underscores and understates the danger implicit in the use of nuclear materials, and may be used to describe measures taken to prevent nuclear and radiation accidents. ... The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ... Grays illustration of a human femur, a typically recognized bone. ... The lungs flank the heart and great vessels in the chest cavity. ...


The Three Mile Island incident, coupled with the release of the disaster film The China Syndrome greatly impacted the public's perception of nuclear power. Many human factors engineering improvements were made to American power plants in the wake of Three Mile Island's partial meltdown. Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station consists of two nuclear reactors, each with its own containment building and cooling towers. ... The China Syndrome is a 1979 thriller film which tells the story of a reporter and cameramen who discover safety coverups at a nuclear power plant. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Ergonomics. ...


The Chernobyl accident in 1986 further sracered the public of nuclear power. While design differences between the RBMK reactor used at Chernobyl and most western reactors virtually eliminate the possiblity of such an accident occuring outside of the former Soviet Union, it is only recently that the general public in the United States has started to embrace nuclear energy. The nuclear power plant at Chernobyl prior to the completion of the sarcophagus. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... RBMK is an acronym for the Russian reaktor bolshoy moshchnosti kanalniy which means reactor (of) high power (of the) channel (type), and describes a now obsolete class of graphite-moderated nuclear power reactor which was built only in the Soviet Union. ...


July 2006: By lifting restrictions on India's ability to buy nuclear technology and fuel from abroad, America will be helping it out of a uranium squeeze: its usable stocks of the enriched stuff (lower enriched for power generation, higher for weapons) have been dwindling fast. 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fuel is any material that is capable of releasing energy when its chemical or physical structure is changed or converted. ... United States is the current Good Article Collaboration of the week! Please help to improve this article to the highest of standards. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ...


Types of nuclear reaction

The vast majority of everyday phenomena do not involve nuclear reactions. Most everyday phenomena only involve gravity and electromagnetism. Of the fundamental forces of nature, these are the weakest, but the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force are essentially short-range forces so they do not play a role outside the atomic nucleus. Atomic nuclei are generally kept apart because they contain positive electrical charges and therefore repel each other, so in ordinary circumstances they cannot meet. Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field; a field encompassing all of space which exerts a force on particles that possess the property of electric charge, and is in turn affected by the presence and motion of those particles. ... A fundamental interaction is a mechanism by which particles interact with each other, and which cannot be explained by another more fundamental interaction. ... The strong nuclear force or strong interaction (also called color force or colour force) is a fundamental force of nature which affects only quarks and antiquarks, and is mediated by gluons in a similar fashion to how the electromagnetic force is mediated by photons. ... The weak nuclear force or weak interaction is one of the four fundamental forces of nature. ...


Most natural nuclear reactions fall under the heading of radioactive decay, where a nucleus is unstable and decays after a random interval. The most common processes by which this can occur are alpha decay, beta decay, and gamma decay. Under suitable circumstances, a large unstable nucleus can break into two smaller nuclei, undergoing nuclear fission. Radioactive decay is the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei emit subatomic particles (radiation). ... Alpha decay is a form of radioactive decay in which an atomic nucleus ejects an alpha particle through the electromagnetic force and transforms into a nucleus with mass number 4 less and atomic number 2 less. ... In nuclear physics, beta decay (sometimes called neutron decay) is a type of radioactive decay in which a beta particle (an electron or a positron) is emitted. ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... For the generation of electrical power by fission, see Nuclear power plant An induced nuclear fission event. ...


Nuclear fission normally releases fast neutrons. If these neutrons are captured by a suitable nucleus, they can trigger fission as well, leading to a chain reaction. A mass of radioactive material large enough (and in a suitable configuration) is called a critical mass. When a neutron is captured by a suitable nucleus, fission may occur immediately, or the nucleus may persist in an unstable state for a short time. If there are enough immediate decays to carry on the chain reaction, the mass is said to be prompt critical, and the energy release will grow rapidly and uncontrollably, usually leading to an explosion. However, if the mass is critical only when the delayed neutrons are included, the reaction can be controlled, for example by the introduction or removal of neutron absorbers. This is what allows nuclear reactors to be built. Fast neutrons are not easily captured by nuclei; they must be slowed (slow neutrons), generally by collision with the nuclei of a neutron moderator, before they can be easily captured. A fast neutron is a free neutron with a kinetic energy level close to 1 MeV (10 TJ/kg, hence a speed of 14,000 km/s. ... A chain reaction is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or by-product causes additional reactions. ... A sphere of plutonium surrounded by neutron-reflecting blocks of tungsten carbide. ... In nuclear engineering, an assembly is prompt critical if for each nuclear fission event, one or more of the immediate or prompt neutrons released causes an additional fission event. ... Isotopes of certain elements absorb free neutrons creating higher isotopes of the same element. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... A thermal neutron is a free neutron with a kinetic energy level of ca. ... In nuclear engineering, a neutron moderator is a medium which reduces the velocity of fast neutrons, thereby turning them into thermal neutrons capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction. ...


If nuclei are forced to collide, they can undergo nuclear fusion. This process may release or absorb energy. When the resulting nucleus is lighter than that of iron, energy is normally released; when the nucleus is heavier than that of iron, energy is generally absorbed. This process of fusion occurs in stars, and is the way all elements heavier than helium were produced. Because of the very strong repulsion of nuclei, fusion is difficult to achieve in a controlled fashion. Fusion bombs obtain their enormous destructive power from fusion, but obtaining controlled fusion power has so far proved elusive. Controlled fusion can be achieved in particle accelerators; this is how many synthetic elements were produced. The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor is a device which can produce controlled fusion (and which can be built as a high-school science project), albeit at a net energy loss. It is sold commercially as a neutron source. The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Atomic mass 55. ... General Name, Symbol, Number helium, He, 2 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 4. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ... The Sun is a natural fusion reactor. ... A 1960s single stage 2 MeV linear Van de Graaff accelerator, here opened for maintenance A particle accelerator is a device that uses electric fields to propel electrically charged particles to high speeds and magnetic fields to contain them. ... The chemical elements labelled as synthetic are unstable, with a half-life so short (ranging from a fraction of millisecond to a few million years) relative to the age of the Earth that any atoms of that element that may have been present when the Earth formed have long since... US3386883 - fusor -- June 4, 1968 The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor, or simply fusor, is an apparatus designed by Philo T. Farnsworth to create nuclear fusion. ...


Major current applications

v · d · e
Nuclear Technology
Nuclear engineering Nuclear physics | Nuclear fission | Nuclear fusion | Radiation | Ionizing radiation | Atomic nucleus | Nuclear reactor | Nuclear safety
Nuclear material Nuclear fuel | Fertile material | Thorium | Uranium | Enriched uranium | Depleted uranium | Plutonium
Nuclear power Nuclear power plant | Radioactive waste | Fusion power | Future energy development | Inertial fusion power plant | Pressurized water reactor | Boiling water reactor | Generation IV reactor | Fast breeder reactor | Fast neutron reactor | Magnox reactor | Advanced gas-cooled reactor | Gas cooled fast reactor | Molten salt reactor | Liquid metal cooled reactor | Lead cooled fast reactor | Sodium-cooled fast reactor | Supercritical water reactor | Very high temperature reactor | Pebble bed reactor | Integral Fast Reactor | Nuclear propulsion | Nuclear thermal rocket | Radioisotope thermoelectric generator
Nuclear medicine PET | Radiation therapy | Tomotherapy | Proton therapy | Brachytherapy
Nuclear weapons History of nuclear weapons | Nuclear warfare | Nuclear arms race | Nuclear weapon design | Effects of nuclear explosions | Nuclear testing | Nuclear delivery | Nuclear proliferation | List of states with nuclear weapons | List of nuclear tests
Types
  Major fields of technology  v · d · e 
Applied science Artificial intelligence | Ceramic engineering | Computing technology | Electronics | Energy | Energy storage | Engineering physics | Environmental technology | Materials science | Materials engineering | Microtechnology | Nanotechnology | Nuclear technology | Optical engineering | Quantum computing
Athletics and recreation Camping equipment | Playground | Sports | Sports equipment
Information and communication Communication | Graphics | Music technology | Speech recognition | Visual technology
Industry Construction | Financial engineering | Manufacturing | Machinery | Mining
Military Bombs | Guns and ammunition | Military technology and equipment | Naval engineering
Domestic / residential Domestic appliances | Domestic technology | Educational technology | Food technology
Engineering Aerospace engineering | Agricultural engineering | Architectural engineering | Bioengineering | Biochemical engineering | Biomedical engineering | Chemical engineering | Civil engineering | Computer engineering | Construction engineering | Electrical engineering | Electronics engineering | Environmental engineering | Industrial engineering | Materials engineering | Mechanical engineering | Metallurgical engineering | Nuclear engineering | Petroleum engineering | Software engineering | Structural engineering | Tissue engineering
Health and safety Biomedical engineering | Bioinformatics | Biotechnology | Cheminformatics | Fire protection technology | Health technologies | Pharmaceuticals | Safety engineering
Transport Aerospace | Aerospace engineering | Marine engineering | Motor vehicles | Space technology | Transport

  Results from FactBites:
 
nuclear technology: Information from Answers.com (1851 words)
Nuclear medicine is the application of nuclear technology to medicine.
Nuclear power is the application of nuclear technology to generate power.
Nuclear technology is often used to construct gamma ray or neutron sources.
Nuclear technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1556 words)
Nuclear technology is technology that involves the reactions of atomic nuclei.
Nuclear submarines were built, able to travel at speed while submerged for months at a time.
Nuclear ships were built, primarily aircraft carriers, although a few icebreakers were built.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m