Illustration of Atomic battery

1913 Atomic battery

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Henry Moseley electromagnetism Illustration of Atomic battery

Atomic battery

When radioactive isotopes decay, they produce thermal and kinetic energy so that we can make an atomic battery using that energy to generate electricity. Henry Moseley made first atomic battery using beta radiation from radium.

Beta particles

Ernest Rutherford distinguished alpha and beta radioactive decay in 1899. Beta radiation penetrates and ionizes more than alpha radiation. Later, Henri Becquerel showed that beta radiation is emission of electrons. Coincidentally, perhaps, electricity is the flow of electrons.

Becoming safer

If you could put all evils in a box and promise to never take them out, someone else would want to look at them. If everyone obeyed the golden rule, and took more pride in commonalities than differences, would we still be able to honor individual talents and efforts? If we were to build an army of robot enforcers who would deter all aggression, the robots would need to be our masters.

By definition, a utopia does not veer toward a police state or dictatorship, and one is still entitled to one’s ideals.

The future of atomic energy is still on hold, however, while we exploit the potential of chemical energy.

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