Today, we I introduced nuclear decay, fission, and fusion. I always feel bad that nuclear physics is such a rich topic and we rush through it at the end of the semester. We did answer a very important question today which is why do elements such as Radon exist if they have such short half lives? I’m not sure where I found this chart, but it clearly answers this question.
I also shared the story of SCRAM “safety control rod axe man” and the role of that person during the development of the nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. Potentially apocryphal, but a great piece of local history!