The energy released by an atom is called atomic energy.

What is an atom?

  • Atoms are the building blocks of universe.

  • They are very tiny particles.

  • Its very hard to imagine even its size.

  • The centre of atom is called nucleus.



Atom in detail

  • Atom is made of tiny particles called protons and neutrons.

  • Electrons circle around the nucleus in clouds, or shells, far from the nucleus.

  • When an atom is in balance, it has the same number of protons and electrons.

  • Atom can have a different number of neutrons.

  • Electrons stay in their shells because a special force holds them.

  • Protons and electrons of atom are attracted to each other.

  • We say protons have a positive charge (+) and the electrons have a negative charge (-).

The electrons near the nucleus are held tight to the atom while sometimes the ones further out are not. These electrons can be made to move out of their orbits.



Atomic energy

  • Atomic energy is the energy released in the nucleus of the atom.

  • The energy released from an atom is very powerful.

  • Such atomic energy is used for many useful applications.

  • Apart from that atomic energy is also used for disaster purposes.

  • Energy can be released from an atom in two ways.

    • Nuclear fusion
    • Nuclear fission


Nuclear Fusion

  • When atoms are combined or fused together to form a new atom, then energy is released. This is called nuclear fusion.

  • The best example for nuclear fusion is Sun.

  • It is well known that we get energy from sun. Do u know how??!!

  • Energy is produced from the sun when the Hydrogen atom undergoes fusion to form helium atoms.


Nuclear fission

  • When a single atom is made to split into smaller atoms then, energy is released. This is called nuclear fission.

  • In industries Uranium atom is spitted into smaller uranium atoms to produce electric energy.

  • Uranium is a mineral rock, a very dense metal that is found in the ground.


Advantages of Atomic energy

  • The energy produced from the atoms does not pollute the air.

  • Energy produced from atoms are of low cost & available at stable prices.

  • The radio isotopes formed from an atom can be used in medical, agriculture and in more fields.


Disadvantages of atomic energy

  • The radioactivity released from an atom is dangerous and it takes years to lose its effect.

  • Misuse of atomic energy increases terrorism.


Important events in history of  atomic energy

  • In 1780 German scientist Martin Heinrich Klaproth discovers Uranium. That becomes the keystone of atomic energy.

  • In march 1986 French scientist Antoine Becquerel discovers radioactivty.

  • In 1934 Italian scientist Enrico Fermi shows that neutrons can split atoms.

  • In July 1939 Enrico Fermi and Leo Sziland propose a idea of nuclear reactor that uses Uranium fuel.

  • In December 1951, First electric energy from a nuclear power plant was produced in Arco,Idaho. It powers  four electric bulbs.

  • Finally world’s first commercial nuclear power plant opens in obninsk soviet union. It has 6 megawatt capacity.


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