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Chronological Developments in Nuclear Physics

1890s
1895
November 8 - Wilhelm Roentgen discovers X-Rays
1897
Becquerel and Marie Curie discover radioactivity
1895 - 1899
Ernest Rutherford discovers alpha and beta radiation
1898
Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the two new chemical elements polonium and radium
1900s
1905
Albert Einstein relates mass to energy in the famous formula E=mc2
1908
Rutherford recieves Nobel prize for discovering that alpha particles are helium nuclei and beta particles are electrons
1910s
1919
June - Rutherford discovered that alpha particles ionize hydrogen gas. When he bombarded nitrogen gas with alpha particles, he found that it knocked off a proton, and created oxygen:
4He + 14N -> 17O + 1H
1920s
1929
Nuclear Fusion as a source of stellar radiation is first investigated in a theoretical paper by Atkinson & Houtermans.

1930s
1930
Sir Arthur Eddington's The Internal Constitution of the Stars is published, which systematically appreached the problem of where the energy radiated from stars originate, eventually suggesting that the only process that can explain the high amounts of energy released and the long lives of stars is one in which lighter constituents build up heavier nuclei. (Fusion)
1932
James Chadwick discovers neutron as a product when beryllium is bombarded by alpha particles:
9Be + 4He -> 12C + neutron

1934
- Fermi bombards heavier elements with neutrons in order to produce transuranic elements:
238U + neutron -> 239U -> (beta- decay) 239Np
239Np ->(beta-decay) 239Pu
1938
Hans Bethe and C. Critchfield make the first complete analysis of the proton-proton reaction. Later that year, Bethe's further research led him to describe the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) cycle.
December - Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman, two German scientists, and Lise Meitner, demonstrate nuclear fission. Lise Meitner, being both a woman and a Jew fleeing Nazi persecution, did not have her name on their seminal paper.
1939
August - Albert Einstein writes a letter to President Roosevelt which discusses German nuclear research and possibility of building an atomic bomb.
1940s
1942
September - Manhattan Project begins
November - Los Alamos becomes site for an atomic laboratory, and Robert Oppenheimer is selected as director.
December - Fermi demonstrates nuclear chain reaction at University of Chicago; soon, many top-secret nuclear research/production facilities are built for the Manhattan Project.
1945
July 16 - First atomic bomb exploded by U.S. at Alamogordo, in the Trinity tests
August 6 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The B-29 bomber Enola gay dropped the 9,700 pound uranium bomb,called Little Boy, on Hiroshima. 70,000 people were killed and another 70,000 were wounded; the bomb destroyed everything within five square miles.
August 9 Another atomic bomb was dropped on Japan because they did not surrender. The 10,000 pound plutonium bomb, called Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki, which was the site of a Mitsubishi torpedo manufacturing plant. The bomb killed 40,000 people and injured 60,000. Japan promptly surrendered on August 14.
1946
July - Atomic Energy Act establishes Atomic Energy Commission.
June 30 - U.S. does an underwater detonation of an atomic bomb at Bikini atoll
1948
April - U.S. does atomic tests at Eniwetok Atoll.
1950s
1950
January 31 - Truman orders the Atomic Energy Commission to develop the hydrogen bomb. U.S. initiates above-ground tests in Nevada.
1951
December 20 - first usable electricity from nuclear fission produced at Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 (EBR-I).
1952
October 3-First British atomic detonation, Monte Bello Islands, Australia.
October 31 -U.S. explodes first fusion device, Mike, of 10.4 Mt at Eniwetok.
1953
June 4 - EBR-I achieved the first demonstration of the breeding principle in a reactor
August 12 -First Soviet fusion device exploded on a tower in Siberia.
December 8 - Eisenhower proposes "Atoms for Peace" program to UN General Assembly in an effort to promote international collaboration
1954
Edward Salpeter describes the triple-alpha process.
January 21 - U.S.S. Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, is launched.
March 1 - The 'BRAVO' H-bomb test
1955
November 22 - Soviet Union tests first fusion device; development was lead by Andrei Sakharov. Nuclear generated electricity used in US
1957
Electron-beam used for fabrication of safer nuclear fuel rods.
May 15 - First British H-bomb exploded at Christmas Island.
September - The United States sets off the first underground nuclear test in a mountain tunnel in the remote desert 100 miles from Las Vegas.
1958
The second Atoms for Peace Conference in Geneva is held, where fusion scientists around the world shared fusion research for the first time, laying down the foundation for future collaboration.
November - Sept. 1961 - U.S., U.K., and U.S.S.R. observe an informal suspension on nuclear tests.
1959
December - There were two commercial reactors operating in the U.S..
1960s
1960
February 13 - France's first nuclear test; held in the Sahara desert.
First Boiling-water nuclear reactors.
1961
September 1961 - President Kennedy advises Americans to build fallout shelters.
1962
First surface ship running on nuclear energy .
November 27 - EBR-I is world's first reactor to produce electricity with a plutonium core.
1963
June 20 - The United States and the Soviet Union sign "hot line" agreement between the White House and the Kremlin.
August 5 - Limited Test Ban Treaty signed by US and Soviet Union, prohibiting underwater, atmospheric, and outer space nuclear tests.
First privately owned commercial nuclear reactor.
Canada's CANDU reactors using natural uranium in fuel tubes surrounded by heavy water.
1964
October 16 - China (PRC) tests first nuclear bomb.
1966
September 24 - First French H-bomb, Tuamoto Islands.
1967
January 27 - Outer Space Treaty bans nuclear weapons being placed in orbit.
February 14 - Treaty of Tlatelolco signed.
June 17 - China tests first fusion device
1968
July 1 - Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is signed. By 1986, more than 130 countries had ratified it.
1969
November to December - Preliminary SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) talks in Helsinki.
December - US has 15 commercial reactors operating
1970s
1970
December - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is established.
July 10 - first observation of a neutrino particle track in a hydrogen bubble chamber
1972
The CAT scan is developed. A CAT scan combines many high-definition, cross-sectional x-rays to produce a two dimensional image of a patient¹s anatomy.
May 26 - SALT I Treaty signed by Nixon and Brezhnev in Moscow.
November - SALT II negotiations begin.
1974
May 18 - India sets off a low-yield device (10-15 kt) under Rajasthan desert.
November 24 - U.S./U.S.S.R. agree to limit the number of strategic launchers (2400) and MIRV launchers (1320).
1975
Laser separation of uranium isotopes created.
1978
April - The United States stops development of the neutron bomb
1979
March 28 - Three Mile Island Nuclear Power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania experiences a partial core meltdown. Minimal radioactive material is released.
June 18 - SALT II Treaty is signed in Vienna by Brezhnev and Carter.
December - Sixty-seven commercial reactors are operating in the U.S..
1980s
1980
The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act is passed, making states responsible for the disposal of their own low-level nuclear waste, such as from hospitals and industry.
1982
June 29 - Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) begin in Geneva.
1983
January - The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 is signed, authorizing the creation of a high-level nuclear waste repository.
1985
August - The Soviet Union authorizes a nuclear testing moratorium.
Lead-iron phosphate glass invented creating more durable containment medium for storing nuclear wastes.
1986
April - Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor meltdown and fire occur in the Soviet Union. Massive amounts of radioactive material are released.
April 3 - Tests at EBR-II demonstrate the inherent safety of the Integral Fast Reactor concept
1987
December 8 - Reagan and Gorbachev sign the INF Treaty.
1989
November - DOE shifts from nuclear materials production to one of environmental cleanup.
December - One-hundred and eleven commericial reactors were operating in the U.S.
1990s
1991
The START treaty is signed; reducing the amount of nuclear arms
July - The U.S. and Soviet Union sign pact agreeing to cut back on long-range nuclear weapons by 30% over next seven years.
1992
The START treaty is ratified by the Senate.
Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus agree in principle to the START treaty.
September - DOE Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Sites. (accompanying image)
1994
Secret nuclear testing on humans is revealed by both the U.S. and C.I.S.
SDI program is scaled back. Emphasis towards a SCUD-like missile defense.
September 30 - Experimental Breeder Reactor II is officially shut down.
October 21 - Secretary of Energy Hazel R. O'Leary announces Department of Energy's intention to proceed with the creation of a new billion dollar multipurpose laser, the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Lawrence Livermore was chosen as the preferred site.
1995
May 11 - 178 nations renew the Non-proliferation Treaty
August - The U.S. announces a total ban on all U.S. nuclear weapon testing.
1996
January 29 - French President Chirac announces an end to French nuclear tests.
March 25 - The United States, France, and United Kingdom sign The Treaty of Rarotonga, which created a South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone. China and C.I.S had already signed the treaty.
April 11 - The Treaty of Pelindaba creates a Nuclear Free Zone throughout Africa. Multilateral agreement signed by 49 of the 53 members of the Organization of African Unity.
September 11 - United Nations approves the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
June 7 - The Fuel Conditioning Facility at Argonne-West began operations with the chopping of used fuel from Experimental Breeder Reactor Two.
1997
July 2 - U.S. begins a round of underground nuclear related tests at the Nevada Test Site.
September 18 - U.S. conducts a second underground explosive test on plutonium.
1998
February 24 - France's National Assembly votes unanimously to ratify the CTBT.
May 11- 13 - India tests 5 more nuclear devices. While addressing people of country over media, the then Prime Minister gave slogan of ......JAI VIGYAN.
May 28 -30- Pakistan tests 6 nuclear devices.

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