Radioactivity And Destructive Warfare

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For centuries, countries have been going to war and developing destructive weapons under the guise of saving lives in the long run. This principle was the basis for developing destructive warfare in most wars of the past and is no exception for the modern day. With the discovery of radiation and the start of the World Wars, the Unites States developed and publicized radioactivity, not caring for the immediate consequences, only hoping to win the war, become a world power, and understand radioactivity. The discovery of radiation led to the abuse of knowledge and power and ultimately led to the deaths of millions of people and the exploitation of an incredibly powerful force through lax safety regulations in factory environments, the promotion …show more content…
He placed the crystal onto a photographic plate and exposed it to the rays. Becquerel hypothesized that the sunlight absorbed by the crystal was released as x-rays and would leave and image on the plate. Having to leave the experiment for a few days, because of inclimate weather, Becquerel came back to the experiment and saw that a clear image was printed on the plate even though there was no sunlight to stimulate the crystal. He discovered that the crystal released its own source of x-rays. It was at this moment that radioactivity was discovered. Years later, Marie Curie, along with the help of her husband, conducted experiments using Becquerel’s theory and discovered two new elements, polonium and radium. However, Marie Curie later died from radiation poisoning as a result of carrying test tubes of radium in her pocket (“The Discovery Of Radioactivity”). The discovery of radium and radioactivity would forever change the United States and its views of radiation. America would no longer need to develop better guns or grenades, but could focus on developing a nuclear bomb to carry the nation up to the status of a world power, no matter what the …show more content…
Because South America looked up to America and adopted similar policies to try and become a world power too, a terrible disaster occurred on September 13, 1987 in Goiania, Brazil, an old radiotherapy machine in a shutdown hospital was never quarantined or removed. A few thieves found the machine and took it apart, exposing the radioactive core. The thieves, not knowing it was radioactive and not realizing the potential dangers, passed the core amongst various families who took it apart or gave it to their kids, leading to the death of hundreds of people (Roberts). Those who were found sick with high levels of radiation were quarantined away and not given proper treatment because the doctors and nursing staff were too afraid of the radiation and were not sure what to

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