Science: A Problem of Power

When scientists first learned how to release atomic energy, they wanted it quickly and in staggering quantities—for the atom bomb. Later, and at more leisure, they were able to study controlled reactions—the relatively slow burning of fissionable fuel. They learned to build breeder reactors that can produce more fuel than they consume. They also built an atomic engine for a submarine, and they got to work on an atomic power plant for aircraft. But for all their concentration on military applications, scientists continued to hope that by splitting atoms in an orderly fashion, they could produce large amounts of useful commercial...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!