Science: Atomic Power in Ten Years?

Early last year news came from Germany, Denmark and France that hit physicists like a punch in the solar plexus. The massive atom of uranium, heaviest of the 92 elements, had been cracked by neutrons (electrically neutral subatomic particles), yielding some 200,000,000 electron-volts of energy per cracked atom (TIME, Feb. 6, 1939). These uranium explosions or "fissions" were most effectively touched off by slow moving neutrons of only one-thirtieth of one electron-volt energy, so that the energy profit was 6,000,000,000 to 1. Prospect of using atomic power-the old dream of sending a ship around the world on the energy in...

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