• Question: how does nuclear effect our lives?

    Asked by SCN191 to Christian on 7 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Christian Killow

      Christian Killow answered on 7 Mar 2016:

      I’m not a nuclear scientist, so my understanding is limited! Quite a lot though, by understanding nuclear reactions (how the cores of atoms and molecules behave when forced together, or are bombarded with lots of energy) we are understanding how the ‘stuff’ that everything is made of works – and that can be very useful.

      In terms of nuclear energy, there’s an amazing amount of energy stored in ‘stuff’ – if you can force the right atoms together, or break the right ones apart in the right way, they can release huge amounts of energy. I find the work towards nuclear fusion really interesting, where they are trying to use truly massive lasers to fuse nucleii together – this is what happens in the sun, and that certainly provides a lot of energy!