Basic chemistry

What is the difference between fission and fusion?

Nuclear fission vs nuclear fusion?

Nuclear fission versus nuclear fusion


Nuclear fission versus nuclear fusion

Nuclear fission versus nuclear fusion is briefly discussed below you can understand it easily.

Different processes that produce different Products

Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion are nuclear phenomena that release large amounts of energy , but they are different processes that produce different products. Learn what nuclear fission and nuclear fusion are and how you can tell them apart.

Nuclear fission

Nuclear fission takes place when the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller nuclei. These smaller nuclei are called fission products.

Particles (for example, neutrons, photons, alpha particles) are usually released too. It is an exothermic process releasing kinetic energy from fission products and energy in the form of gamma radiation. The reason that energy is released is that the fission products are more stable (less energetic) than the parent nucleus. Fission can be seen as a form of transmutation of elements, since changing the number of protons in an element essentially changes the element from one to the other. Nuclear fission can occur naturally, as in the decay of radioactive isotopes, or it can be forced to occur in a reactor or a weapon.

Example of nuclear fission

235 92 U + 0 n → 90 38 Sr + 143 54 Xe + 3 0 n

Nuclear fusion

Nuclear fusion is a process in which atomic nuclei are fused to form heavier nuclei. Extremely high temperatures (on the order of 1.5 x 10 7 ° C) can force the nuclei together, so that strong nuclear force can bind them.

Large amounts of energy are released when fusion occurs. It may seem counterintuitive that energy is released both when atoms divide and when they merge. The reason that energy is released from fusion is because the two atoms have more energy than one atom. A lot of energy is needed to force the protons to get close enough to overcome the repulsion between them, but at some point the strong force that binds them overcomes the electrical repulsion.

When the nuclei are fused, excess energy is released. Like fission, nuclear fusion can also transform one element into another. For example, hydrogen nuclei fuse in stars to form the helium element. Fusion is also used to force atomic nuclei together to form the most recent elements on the periodic table. While fusion occurs in nature, it is in the stars, not on Earth. Fusion on Earth only occurs in laboratories and weapons.

Examples of nuclear fusion

The reactions that occur in the sun provide an example of nuclear fusion:

1 H + 1 H → 2 He

2 He + 2 He → 2 He + 2 1 H

1 H + 1 H → 1 H + +1 β

Distinguish between fission and fusion

Fission and fusion release huge amounts of energy. Fission and fusion reactions can occur in nuclear bombs . So how can you tell apart fission and fusion?

  • Fission breaks atomic nuclei into smaller pieces. The starting elements have an atomic number greater than that of the fission products. For example, uranium can crack to give strontium and krypton.
  • The fusion joins the atomic nuclei together. The formed element has more neutrons or more protons than that of the starting material. For example, hydrogen and hydrogen can merge to form helium.
  • Fission occurs naturally on Earth. An example is the spontaneous fission of uranium , which occurs only if enough uranium is present in a fairly small volume (rarely). Fusion, on the other hand, does not occur naturally on Earth. Fusion occurs in the stars.

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