Topic 2: Introduction to Nuclear Energy – Step 3

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English Idiom: “Scratch the Surface”

In Chapter 1, we are going to “scratch the surface” of nuclear energy.

This is an informal phrase meaning “to discover or deal with a very small part of something” or “to investigate or treat something superficially” (usually used with of).

Examples:

“Scholars have only begun to scratch the surface of the ancient history of Mesoamerica.”

Jorge Pérez de Lara, Temple of the Sun, Archaeology, Vol. 58 Issue 6 (Nov/Dec2005)

“A lecturer, of course, could onlyscratch the surface of the Russian Revolution or the Chinese history in a one or two hour talk.”

Russell L. Johnson, “Dancing Mothers” The Chautauqua Movement in Twentieth-Century American Popular Culture, American Studies International, Vol. 39 Issue 2 (June, 2001)