Nuclear Reactions

A nuclear reaction occurs when two species (known as nuclides) collide and produce a new species that is different from the ones that started the reaction. The reactions usually produce more stable species and release a tremendous amount of energy. The two types of nuclear reactions are nuclear fission and fusion.

Nuclear fission occurs when larger, heavier atoms are split into smaller atoms. This is the type of reaction used in nuclear power plants and in most atomic bombs. Nuclear fusion occurs when two smaller atoms are fused together into a larger one. The sun generates its power through nuclear fusion reactions.

Examples:

1. Nuclear fission of U-235



In this reaction, a neutron bombards the nucleus of a uranium-235 nucleus producing krypton-91, barium -142 and 3 more neutrons.

2. Nuclear fusion of two hydrogen atoms



In this reaction, two hydrogen atoms (hydrogen-1 and hydrogen-2) are fused into a helium atom.

Related Links:

Chemistry
Nuclear Chemistry
Alpha Decay
Beta Decay
Gamma Decay
Nuclear Fusion



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