IN THE EARLY 20th century Marie Curie and others realised that although radioactive elements like radium emitted energy at a tiny rate, the total amount released over thousands of years was enormous.
This idea led H.G. Wells to write his 1914 novel The World Set Free, in which he imagined scientists harnessing the immense power of atomic energy and how it could fuel a world war.
In 1932 the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard, then living in Berlin, read Wells’ novel and was inspired by the vision.
When Hitler took power in Germany the following year, Szilard, who was Jewish, fled to England. In September 1933, while waiting for the traffic lights to change at London’s Russell Square, Szilard realised the key to tapping the power inside the atomic nucleus was a nuclear chain reaction.
In 1939 it was Szilard who drafted the letter signed by Albert Einstein that warned US president Franklin Roosevelt of the danger of Germany developing atomic weapons. From that warning the American atomic program, the Manhattan Project, was born.
POWER CONTROL UNIT:
A mechanism to optimally control both fuel-cell stack output under various operational conditions and drive battery charging and discharging.
SCIENCE FICTION SOURCE: H.G. Wells’ 1914 novel The World Set Free