edexel physiscs, nuclear fission and fusioon
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- Thread Starter
- 06-01-2017 18:32
- 07-01-2017 15:28
Nuclear fission means that an atom/particle's nucleus is split. Isotopes of Uranium and Plutonium has relatively large nuclei that can be easily split with a neutron. Uranium and Plutonium are normally used as fuel in nuclear reactors.
When uranium-235 and plutonium-239 undergo nuclear fission the following happens :
1) The nucleus splits into two smaller nuclei called daughter nuclei which are radioactive.
2) two or more neutrons are released
3) energy is released
The neutrons that are given off go on to splitting more uranium-235 and plutonium-239 nuclei which is called a chain reaction and it can be controlled to stop it going too quickly.
Nuclear fusion is when two hydrogen nuclei, where one is from the isotope of hydrogen (hydrogen-2) and the other one is not, join together to from the isotope of helium (helium-3). High amounts of energy is released as a result.
Hope this helps