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Science and Technology Civils
Subject: Science & Technology
Topic: Nuclear Technology.
Description: Nuclear technology is technology that involves the nuclear reactyions of atomic nuclei. Among the notable nuclear technologies are nuclear reactors, nuclear medicine and nuclear weapons. It is also used, among other things, in smoke detectors and gun sights.
The vast majority of common, natural phenomena on Earth only involve gravity and electromagnetism, and not nuclear reactions. This is because atomic nuclei are generally kept apart because they contain positive electrical charges and therefore repel each other.
In 1896, Henri Becquerel was investigating phosphorescence in uranium salts when he discovered a new phenomenon which came to be called radioactivity. He, Pierre Curie and Marie Curie began investigating the phenomenon. In the process, they isolated the element radium, which is highly radioactive. They discovered that radioactive materials produce intense, penetrating rays of three distinct sorts, which they labeled alpha, beta, and gamma after the first three Greek letters. Some of these kinds of radiation could pass through ordinary matter, and all of them could be harmful in large amounts. All of the early researchers received various radiation burns, much like sunburn, and thought little of it.
The new phenomenon of radioactivity was seized upon by the manufacturers of quack medicine (as had the discoveries of electricity and magnetism, earlier), and a number of patent medicines and treatments involving radioactivity were put forward.