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Nuclear Power

Timeline of Nuclear Technology and the Atomic Bomb


By definition nuclear as an adjective means relating to or constituting the nucleus of an atom, for example: nuclear physics, nuclear fission, or nuclear forces. Nuclear weapons are weapons deriving destructive energy from the release of atomic energy, for example the atomic bomb. This timeline covers nuclear history.


Mrs. Röntgen's hand, the first X-ray picture of the human body ever taken.
Cloud chamber for tracking charged particles is invented. Wilhelm Roentgen discovers x-rays. The world immediately appreciates their medical potential. Within five years, for example, the British Army is using a mobile x-ray unit to locate bullets and shrapnel in wounded soldiers in the Sudan.


Marie Curie
Marie Curie discovers the radioactive elements radium and polonium.


Albert Einstein
LOC & Mary Bellis
Albert Einstein develops theory about the relationship of mass and energy.


Georg von Hevesy conceives the idea of using radioactive tracers. This idea is later applied to, among other things, medical diagnosis. Von Hevesy wins the Nobel Prize in 1943.


Radiation detector is invented.


First cloud-chamber photographs of nuclear reactions.


Herman Blumgart, a Boston physician, first uses radioactive tracers to diagnose heart disease.


Harold Urey discovers deuterium aka heavy hydrogen which is present in all natural hydrogen compounds including water.


James Chadwick proves the existence of neutrons.


Leo Szilard
Courtesy Department of Energy
On July 4, 1934 Leo Szilard filed the first patent application for the method of producing a nuclear chain reaction aka nuclear explosion.
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