Atomic Energy

Atomic energy is energy produced by atoms. The term originated in 1903 when Ernest Rutherford began to speak of the possibility of atomic energy. The term was popularized by H. G. Wells in the phrase, "splitting the atom", devised at a time prior to the discovery of the nucleus. Atomic energy also may refer to:

  • Nuclear binding energy, the energy required to split a nucleus of an atom
  • Nuclear potential energy, the potential energy of the particles inside an atomic nucleus
  • Nuclear reaction, a process in which nuclei or nuclear particles interact, resulting in products different from the initial ones; see also nuclear fission and nuclear fusion
  • Nuclear power, the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity
  • Radioactive decay, the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei (nuclides) emit subatomic particles
  • The energy of inter-atomic or chemical bonds, which holds atoms together in compounds

Famous quotes related to atomic energy:

    The pace of science forces the pace of technique. Theoretical physics forces atomic energy on us; the successful production of the fission bomb forces upon us the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb. We do not choose our problems, we do not choose our products; we are pushed, we are forced—by what? By a system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)