Fission / Fusion Notes
Fission
The process whereby the nucleus of a particular heavy element splits into (generally) two nuclei of lighter elements, with the release of substantial amounts of energy. 2.9
Examples of fission reactions:
- ^{235}U + ^{1}n → ^{142}Ba + ^{91}Kr + 3 ^{1}n
- ^{235}U + ^{1}n → ^{134}Xe + ^{100}Sr + 2 ^{1}n
Analyzing reactions
The number of protons and the mass number will be the same for both sides of the equation!
Equation | ^{235}U + ^{1}n | → | ^{142}Ba + ^{91}Kr + 3 ^{1}n |
---|---|---|---|
Number of p^{+} | 92 | 56 + 36 = 92 | |
Mass number | 235 + 1 = 236 | 142 + 91 + 3 = 236 |
Equation | ^{235}U + ^{1}n | → | ^{134}Xe + ^{100}Sr + 2 ^{1}n |
---|---|---|---|
Number of p^{+} | |
||
Mass number | |
Although the mass numbers will be conserved, a small amount of the energy binding the atom together will be released.
Fusion
A nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy. 2.9
Examples of fusion reactions:
- ^{14}N + ^{4}He → ^{17}F + ^{1}n
- ^{239}Pu + 2 ^{1}n → ^{241}Am + e^{-}
- ^{13}C + ^{4}He → ^{16}O + ^{1}n
Analyzing reactions
Again, the number of protons and the mass number will be the same for both sides of the equation!
Equation | ^{14}N + ^{4}He | → | ^{17}F + ^{1}n |
---|---|---|---|
Number of p^{+} | 7 + 2 = 9 | 9 | |
Mass number | 14 + 4 = 18 | 17 + 1 = 18 |
Equation | ^{239}Pu + 2 ^{1}n | → | ^{241}Am + e^{-} |
---|---|---|---|
Number of p^{+} | |
||
Mass number | |
Again, although the mass numbers will be conserved, a small amount of the atom's binding energy will be released.