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Gcse nuclear fission

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
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    Currently doing past papers for edexcel igcse physics and they keep asking about some stage in the nuclear fission process.

    how does nuclear fission lead to a chain reaction
    what are the products
    what is the process etc etc

    However I keep getting it wrong and the MS is sort of confusing. Could some explain the WHOLE process? Thank you v much

    ps. can someone also give me a rundown of the Geiger and Marsden stuff? I really have no idea what any of it means thnks v v v much

    So basically, you get a Uranium-235* nucleus, then you shoot a neutron at it. The nucleus splits into two? smaller nuclei, and neutrons are released. These neutrons go on to split other Uranium-235* nuclei, which creates two smaller nuclei and releases neutrons, and so on. This is known as a chain reaction, as splitting one nucleus results in more nuclei being split and so on. To stop or slow down this chain reaction, you stick a few control rods in between the fuel rods. These absorb the neutrons so they cannot split more nuclei.

    *Uranium-235 is an isotope of Uranium and is used as the fuel in a nuclear fission reaction. Other nuclear fuels are available for your reacting pleasure, such as Plutonium and Thorium.

    Energy is released when the nuclei splits. This is nuclear energy? which is then transferred to thermal energy. Thermal energy heats up coolant which is piped past reaction chamber, coolant passes heat exchanger, which uses the thermal energy to heat water, evaporating it into steam. This steam is used to drive turbines, thus converting thermal energy to kinetic energy. The turbine is used to drive a motor, which generates electricity. (But that's a whole other topic, from Core)
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