Fission/Fusion Questions

  1. Define fission.
  2. Potassium-40 (40K) is radioactive. Potassium-39 (39K) isn't. Why are these isotopes?
  3. What sub-atomic particle seems to dictate if an isotope is radioactive?
  4. Use one word to describe what is happening here:

    263Sg → 259Rf + 4He

  5. Describe the above equation in words.
  6. Define fusion.
  7. Why do protons so resist fusing?
  8. What is required for fusion?
  9. Why is fusion only found in nature in a sun's core?
  10. Use one word to describe what is happening here:

    1H + 1H + 1H + 1H   →   4He + energy and sub-atomic particles *

  11. Describe the above equation in words.
  12. In the sun about 0.7% of the mass is converted into energy. Einstein famously stated: E = mc2. Why does this help explain the tremendous amount of energy released by the sun?
  13. What else helps explain why the sun releases so much energy? Hint: How many Earths would the sun hold?

* 2γ + 2ν + 2e+     where γ = gamma ray     ν=neutrino     e+= positron