On August 6, 1945, a 10 feet long (3 meters) bomb fell from the sky on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Less than a minute later everything in the radius of a mile from the explosion of the bomb has been obliterated.
A huge firestorm quickly destroyed further miles, killing tens of thousands of people. This was the first use of the atomic bomb in the war and used one famous element to wreak havoc: uranium.
uranium-235 is the only naturally occurring isotope capable of supporting nuclear fission reactions. (Isotope is a version of an element with different number of neutrons in the nucleus).
1. THIS IS THE HIGHEST NATURAL OCCURRING ELEMENT IN THE UNIVERSE.
Uranium was first found in the silver mines in 1500 in today’s Czech Republic. Generally, he appeared where the silver vein ran out, bringing the nickname pitchblende, which means “unlucky stone”.
In 1789, Martin Klaproth, a German chemist who analyzed mineral samples from the mine, heated them and isolated a “strange kind of semi-metal” – titanium dioxide. He named it after the recently discovered planet Uran.
The nucleus filled with 92 protons, uranium is the heaviest of the elements. This weight once forced shipbuilders to used uranium as ballast on ship kiosks. If this were the case now, while navigating to the port, he could run defense systems.
French physicist Henri Becquerel discovered the properties of the radioactivity of uranium – and radioactivity itself – in 1896. He left uranium-potassium sulfate, a kind of salt, on a photo plate in a drawer and found that uranium misted the glass as it does in the case of sunlight. He gave off his own rays.
2. YOUR TRANSFORMATIONS ARE RECOGNIZING ALCHEMISTS IN LAW … SMALL.
Uranium breaks down into other elements, dropping protons to become radium, radon, polonium and farther a total of 14 transitions, all of them radioactive until it finds a resting point as a lead.
Before Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy discovered this feature around 1901, the concept of transforming one element into another was considered to be exclusively the territory of alchemists.
3. (uranium facts) IS HIGHLY RELIABLE.
The amount of uranium creates instability. To achieve rest, he shoots a missile composed of two protons and two neutrons at a speed fast enough to rotate around the perimeter of the earth in about two seconds. “
Traces of uranium appear in rock, soil, and water and can be eaten in root vegetables and seafood. The kidneys take the burden of removing it from the bloodstream, and at high enough levels this process can damage cells, according to the Argonne National Laboratory. But here’s the good news: after short-term, low-energy exposure, the kidneys can repair themselves.
5. “CLICK THE DRAGON BELT” WAS KEY TO THE FIRST ATOM MASKS.
The uranium facts occur naturally in three isotopes (forms with different masses): 234, 235 and 238. Only uranium-235, which is only 0.72% of the average uranium sample, can trigger a chain reaction of the nucleus. In this process, the neutron bombards the uranium nucleus, causing it to break, releasing neutrons that divide more nuclei.
In the 1940s, a team of scientists began to experiment in the secret city of Los Alamos, New Mexico, how to use this power. They called it “tickling the dragon’s tail.” The uranium bomb, whose construction was built, Little Boy, detonated the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
Estimates vary, but it is believed that 70,000 people have been killed as a result of the explosion and at least 130,000 more than radiation poisoning. next five years.
The same property that drives the bombs now makes uranium useful for electricity. Finger size uranium pellets have the same energy potential as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas. 1780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industrial group.
6. EARTH CREATED YOUR OWN NATURAL NUCLEAR REACTORS FROM YEARS.
In the seventies, the mine ores in the present state of Gabon appeared in Uranium-235 shortage, finding them at 0.717 percent instead of the expected 0.72 percent. In the mine, about 200 kilograms were mysteriously absent – enough to fuel half a dozen nuclear bombs.
Then the possibility of spontaneous occurrence of nuclear reactors was just a theory. The conditions for it required a certain size of sediment. In higher concentration of uranium-235 and the surrounding environment, which encouraged the nucleus to further subdivide.
It was enough to trigger a nuclear fission reaction in at least 16 places that flickered and died out for hundreds of thousands of years. It seems impressive that the average production was less than 100 kilowatts – enough to run dozens of toasters, as explained in Scientific American physicist Alex Meshik.
7. (uranium facts)AS A SOURCE OF POWER, IT IS “PRACTICALLY INFINITE”.
MIT study from 2010 showed that the world has enough uranium resources to provide energy for decades. Currently, all commercial nuclear power plants consume at least some uranium, although the plutonium is also in the mix.
One passing through the reactor consumes only about 3 percent of enriched uranium. “If you can repeat it many times, it can be virtually infinite. The Stephanie Bruffey, research, and development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Mental Floss.