On this day in 1942, scientists Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi produced the first nuclear chain reaction beneath the West Stands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. When an atom of uranium is split by a neutron, it emits more neutrons that can split more atoms...and that chain reaction can result in explosive nuclear power!
On this day in 1957, the first full-scale atomic electric generating station in the U.S. began operation in Shippingport, Pennsylvania.
This YouTube video tells more about fission of uranium and chain reactions.
Learn about nuclear power...
- with these videos.
- with the U.S. Department of Energy's “Nuclear Energy Student Zone.”