[LMB] Sorry, Cordelia! Here, have a real steak.

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Tue Sep 28 05:02:30 BST 2021


On Sun, Sep 26, 2021 at 07:48:27PM +0100, Marc Wilson wrote:

> The man who split the atom said we'd not realise power released from it
> inside a thousand years.
> 
> 12 years before Hiroshima.

OTOH he was *correct* that that way of splitting the atom wasn't useful
for power.  Hiroshima depends on a phenomenon discovered several years
after "splitting the atom" via particle accelerator.

Rutherford: "We might in these processes obtain very much more energy
than the proton supplied, but on the average we could not expect to
obtain energy in this way. It was a very poor and inefficient way of
producing energy, and anyone who looked for a source of power in the
transformation of the atoms was talking moonshine. But the subject was
scientifically interesting because it gave insight into the atoms.[49]"

wiki: "accelerator-induced fission of light elements remains too
inefficient to be used in this way, even today"

Likewise deliberate nuclear transmutation started in 1925, but is still
of limited utility.

Also to be precise, the 1932 "splitting the atom" was done by John
Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, in his laboratory; they got the Nobel for
it, not him. And that was 13 years before Hiroshia, though 12 before
Trinity.

-xx- Damien X-)


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