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Atomic Disintegration and Heat Energy

Nature volume 104, page 420 (25 December 1919) | Download Citation



SIR OLIVER LODGE, in the Trueman Wood lecture to the Royal Society of Arts, referred to-last week, asked whether atomic energy may not already be being unconsciously utilised. The recognition of radio-activity as a process of natural transmutation, in which a large and previously unknown store of energy associated with the atomic structure is released in the disintegration of the atom and its change into totally different kinds of atoms, dates, of course, from the early years of the century. The natural conclusion is that, before this energy can be rendered available, artificial transmutation must be possible, and that this transmutation certainly does not occur in any other case than in that of the radio-elements, and then only spontaneously and in a manner not to be altered by artificial means.

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