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.

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What is an atomic clock and 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.


How Radiation Sickness Works

We're all exposed to tiny levels of radiation, but a blast of it can leave you in agony -- that is, if it doesn't kill you outright. What is it, what causes it and how can we treat it?

How Radioactive Cleanup Works

It's lunchtime, and you've spastically spilled soda all over your desk. Chances are you could tackle that mess faster than we could say "Mr. Clean." What do you do though when the spill is radioactive?

It's hard to get beyond Fukushima Daiichi when you think about nuclear meltdowns, but in fact the first one occurred decades ago, in 1969, in Switzerland's Lake Geneva region. How does such a cataclysmic incident occur?

How a Nuclear Reactor Works

Over the years, nuclear reactors have been viewed as both a miracle and a menace. How does a nuclear reactor do its job? And what happens when something goes wrong?

Image Gallery: Nuclear Meltdown Disasters

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.

Image Gallery: Inside a Nuclear Power Plant

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

How Japan's Nuclear Crisis Works

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?

What would nuclear winter be like?

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.

How Radiation Works

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?

How the Nuclear Arms Race Works

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.