The discovery and use of Uranium - Deepstash





Stuff of Progress: Uranium

The discovery and use of Uranium

The discovery and use of Uranium

Uranium was first used as a coloring agent in the manufacture of pottery. As early as 79 CE, naturally-occurring uranium oxide was ground up into a yellow powder and applied as a pottery glaze.

Martin Heinrich Klaproth discovered the element uranium in 1749, but uranium's radioactive significance was only unlocked in 1896 by physicist Henri Becquerel. Pure uranium is a silvery-grey radioactive chemical element.




Nuclear energy as a negative character
In televison, nuclear is not the context but the antagonist. It becomes a demon: It is constantly talked about, its nature endlessly debated and described.

And that demon terrifi...

Radiation inaccuracies

Radiation is not contagious. Once someone has removed their clothes and been washed, the radioactivity is internalized.

After nuclear disasters, hospitals do isolate radiation victims behind plastic screens, but that's because their immune systems have been weakened and they are at risk of being exposed to something they can’t handle

TV shows get nuclear wrong

Television gets nuclear wrong not only for dramatic effects, but for the same reason humankind as a whole has been getting it wrong for over 60 years, which is that we’ve displaced our fears of nuclear weapons onto nuclear power plants.

Iron: the fourth most abundant element on earth
Iron: the fourth most abundant element on earth

Iron is the fourth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and is found as an ore called Magnetite. Iron is crucial for creating steel, which is required for countries which are und...

The early history of iron exploitation

Iron has been collected, mined and processed into its metallic form since 1200 BCE. Large scale production only started in 1750, at the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Steel, an alloy of Iron and Carbon is known for its purity and strength, and was patented by British inventor Sir Henry Bessemer in 1857. Steel helped humanity make stronger and larger tools, paving the way for industrialized progress.

Iron and the increased demand for wood

Scaling up of iron production in Great Britain, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, led to a dramatic increase in the demand for wood. The creation of steel takes its toll on forests, with the requirement of charcoal, a residue of wood, to smelt iron and carbon.

Charcoal production, leading to demand for wood, has since then led to widespread deforestation with thousands of square kilometers of forests cut annually.