Nuclear Science

Nuclear science is the study of sub-atomic particles and their application in various disciplines. Here you can learn about nuclear power plants, atomic theory and radiation.


Nuclear power, for the most part, is a clean, alternative energy source, but nuclear meltdowns and disasters cause people to question the safety of the technology. See pictures of some of the most catastrophic nuclear meltdowns.

Tour the inside of a nuclear power plant with these illustrative diagrams to learn more about how nuclear power plants work.

Explosions, fires and dangerous radiation levels dominated the headlines after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami sparked a nuclear crisis in Japan. How did so many safety measures fail?

If the sight of a mushroom cloud burning above the horizon suggests that the nuclear weapon-equipped world might end with a bang, then nuclear winter presents the notion that post-World War III humanity might very well die with a whimper.

In the comics, radiation exposure turned an average man into a pea green and angry Incredible Hulk. But in reality, what can radiation do to those exposed? Is it always a villain?

The detonation of the world's first nuclear bomb ushered in the atomic age. It also amplified tensions between countries and sparked an era in which nations scrambled for power and seemed headed toward catastrophe.

If you watched "24," you might think real-life Jack Bauers stop bad guys from detonating stolen nukes all the time. Just how hard is it to steal a nuclear weapon?

Dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended World War II. How did the most powerful weapon in the world get developed? It started with the Manhattan Project.

British authorities have found traces of polonium-210 in at least five buildings and three British Airways jets since Alexander Litvinenko fell ill.

Iran has announced its activation of a second set of uranium centrifuges. These machines are at the core of the uranium-enrichment process. Find out where the centrifuge fits into the equation.

Fusion reactors will use abundant sources of fuel, will not leak radiation above normal background levels, and will produce less radioactive waste than current fission reactors. Learn about this promising power source.

Atom smashers tell us about the fundamental structure of matter, the forces holding it together and the origins of the universe. Discover how scientists use particle accelerators to break atoms apart to learn about the nature of reality.

Nuclear materials get used in many forms of nuclear medicine -- everything from PET scans to chemotherapy uses them. Learn how nuclear medicine works.

On one hand, nuclear power offers a clean energy alternative that decreases fossil fuel dependence. On the other, it summons images of quake-ruptured Japanese power plants belching radioactive steam. What happens in reactors in good times and bad?

Nuclear radiation can be extremely beneficial or extremely harmful -- it all depends on how it's used. Learn what nuclear radiation is all about.

I once saw this device shaped like a light bulb. It had a vertical support inside it, and on that support there were four vanes with four diamonds on the end. One side of the diamond was black and the other was white. I did a little research and found out that it was called a Crookes' radiometer -- how does it work?

Many ads for new clocks advertise their ability to automatically synchronize themselves with the atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado. This atomic clock is more precise because it uses the frequencies of atoms as its resonator.

When the power goes out and is later restored, how do you know what time to set your clocks to? Have you ever wondered how time is regulated? Learn how scientists determine exact time.