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Nuclear Reactions: AN INTRODUCTION TO FISSION & FUSION

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Nuclear Reactions: AN INTRODUCTION TO FISSION & FUSION Farley Visitors Center Nuclear reactions deal with interactions between the nuclei of atoms The focus of this ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Nuclear Reactions: AN INTRODUCTION TO FISSION & FUSION


1
Nuclear Reactions
AN INTRODUCTION TO FISSION FUSION
Farley Visitors Center
2
Introduction
  • Nuclear reactions deal with interactions between
    the nuclei of atoms
  • The focus of this presentation are the processes
    of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion
  • Both fission and fusion processes deal with
    matter and energy

3
Matter and Energy
  • Previous studies have taught us that matter and
    energy cannot be created nor destroyed
  • We now need to understand that Matter and Energy
    are two forms of the same thing

4
E mc2
  • Matter can be changed into Energy
  • Einsteins formula above tells us how the change
    occurs
  • In the equation above
  • E Energy
  • m Mass
  • c Speed of Light (Universal Constant)

Mass
Energy
Light Speed
5
E mc2
  • The equation may be read as follows
  • Energy (E) is equal to Mass (m) multiplied by
    the Speed of Light (c) squared
  • This tells us that a small amount of mass can be
    converted into a very large amount of energy
    because the speed of light (c) is an extremely
    large number

6
Fission
  • Fission may be defined as the process of
    splitting an atomic nucleus into fission
    fragments
  • The fission fragments are generally in the form
    of smaller atomic nuclei and neutrons
  • Large amounts of energy are produced by the
    fission process

7
Fission
  • Fissile nuclei are generally heavy atoms with
    large numbers of nucleons
  • The nuclei of such heavy atoms are struck by
    neutrons initiating the fission process
  • Fission occurs due to electrostatic repulsion
    created by large numbers of protons within the
    nuclei of heavy atoms

8
Fission
  • A classic example of a fission reaction is that
    of U-235
  • U-235 1 Neutron
  • 2 Neutrons Kr-92 Ba-142 Energy
  • In this example, a stray neutron strikes an atom
    of U-235. It absorbs the neutron and becomes an
    unstable atom of U-236. It then undergoes
    fission. Notice that more neutrons are released
    in the reaction. These neutrons can strike other
    U-235 atoms to initiate their fission.

9
Fission
  • The fission process is an a natural one as a
    French researcher found a natural uranium reactor
    in Gabon, West Africa it has been estimated to
    be over 2 billion years old
  • Fission produces large amounts of heat energy and
    it is this heat that is captured by nuclear power
    plants to produce electricity

10
Fusion
  • Fusion is a nuclear reaction whereby two light
    atomic nuclei fuse or combine to form a single
    larger, heavier nucleus
  • The fusion process generates tremendous amounts
    of energy refer back to Einsteins equation
  • For fusion to occur, a large amount of energy is
    needed to overcome the electrical charges of the
    nuclei and fuse them together

11
Fusion
  • Fusion reactions do not occur naturally on our
    planet but are the principal type of reaction
    found in stars
  • The large masses, densities, and high
    temperatures of stars provide the initial
    energies needed to fuel fusion reactions
  • The sun fuses hydrogen atoms to produce helium,
    subatomic particles, and vast amounts of energy

12
Review
  • Mass and Energy are two forms of the same thing
    neither can be created nor destroyed but mass can
    be converted into energy (E mc2)
  • Fission is a nuclear reaction in which a heavy
    atomic nucleus is split into lighter atomic
    nuclei
  • Fusion is a nuclear reaction in which 2 light
    atomic nuclei are combined into a single, heavier
    atomic nucleus

13
Quiz
  • Which nuclear process produces large amounts of
    energy?
  • A. Fission
  • B. Fusion
  • C. Both fission fusion
  • D. Neither fission nor fusion

14
Quiz
  • Fission is the process that _________ atomic
    nuclei.
  • A. Combines
  • B. Burns up
  • C. Stores
  • D. Splits

15
Quiz
  • Mass may be converted into energy.
  • A. True
  • B. False

16
Quiz
  • The fission process requires heavy atomic
    nuclei.
  • A. True
  • B. False

17
Quiz
  • Name a nuclear reaction that occurs within the
    sun

18
Quiz
  • Fission is a natural process that occurs on the
    planet Earth.
  • A. True
  • B. False

19
Quiz
  • Explain this equation
  • E mc2
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