Radiation and Modern Life: Marie Curie's Dream Fulfilled / Edition 1

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Overview

With an introduction by Marie Curie’s granddaughter, nuclear physicist Dr. Hélène Langevin-Joliot, who reveals a host of interesting and hitherto unknown stories about her famous family (winners of five Nobel Prizes), this unique popular science book dispels many unfounded fears and provides a wealth of valuable information.

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s first Nobel Prize, awarded to her and her husband, Pierre, for their monumental discovery of radioactivity, it is an ideal time to reflect on the countless ways that their astounding work has so marvelously enriched our daily lives. Despite public fears of the potentially harmful effects of radiation from nuclear waste, we in fact rely on its many beneficial uses everyday for fresh food preservation, fighting terrorism, stopping crime, cancer detection and treatment, spacecraft power, and numerous other life-enhancing applications.

In this lucid overview of radiation’s many great benefits and ongoing potential, Dr. Alan E. Waltar, past president of the American Nuclear Society, explains how this important energy source has been harnessed to serve a plethora of humanitarian tasks. Through artful use of vivid anecdotes that give vibrancy to technical explanations, Waltar provides numerous examples of radiation’s many uses in agriculture, medicine, electricity generation, modern industry, transportation, public safety, environmental protection, space exploration, and even archeology and the arts. Estimating the total financial contribution of all these varied uses, Waltar comes to the startling revelation that radiation technology now contributes more than $420 billion to the U.S. economy and over 4.4 million jobs. In only one century, Marie Curie’s discoveries have provided an infrastructure larger than the entire U.S. airline industry.

In the future Dr. Waltar foresees continuous improvement in many areas of science, industry, and medicine through tapping the incredible potential of Marie Curie’s initial insights. At a time when our dependency on foreign oil makes us vulnerable and when we know that our fossil fuel resources will soon be used up, we need to understand radiation more than ever. This superb book will provide that necessary insight.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591022503
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 10/25/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.63 (w) x 8.41 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan E. Waltar, Ph.D., is Director of Nuclear Energy for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the author of America the Powerless: Facing Our Nuclear Energy Dilemma and Fast Breeder Reactors (coauthored with Albert B. Reynolds), in addition to numerous scientific articles. He was formerly head of the department of nuclear engineering at Texas A & M University.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : Marie Curie and the world of radiation 13
1 Our common quest for life 27
2 Thriving in radiation 35
3 Harnessing radiation 53
4 Agriculture 61
5 Medicine 79
6 Electricity 101
7 Modern industry 129
8 Transportation 153
9 Space exploration 165
10 Terrorism, crime, and public safety 187
11 Arts and sciences 205
12 Environmental protection 215
13 Modern economy 239
14 A day with the atom 253
15 A glimpse into the future 259
App. A Radioisotopes used in medicine 277
App. B Radioisotopes used in industry 282
App. C Radioisotopes used in environmental protection 284
App. D Radioisotopes used in other applications 287
App. E Sales and jobs created in the United States in 1995 within selected industries by nuclear energy and radioisotope technologies 289
App. F Jobs generated nationwide within selected occupations in 1995 by nuclear energy and radioisotope technologies 290
App. G Total jobs, sales, and tax revenues created within each state in 1995 by the use of nuclear technologies 292
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