The discovery of nuclear fission ? a game changer in the history of scientific research

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


VS Ramamurthy


Current Science, CURRENT SCIENCE ASSOCIATION, Volume 106, Number 4, p.509–510 (2014)



It was on 17 December 1938 that Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann announced to the world the discovery of nuclear fission. It was on this day that humanity learnt how to unleash the immense energy potential of the atom. It is an irony of fate that the first practical application of our new knowledge on the energy potential of the atom was the demonstration of its destructive power. Fortunately, commercial electricity from nuclear power stations also became a reality soon after and today more than 400 nuclear power plants are in operation across the world supplying nearly 13% of the world?s electricity demand (2012 estimate).


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