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Lesson 8, Topic 5
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# Nuclear Fusion | Nuclear Fission

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Nuclear fusion is a nuclear phenomenon or reaction where two or more light nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus with the release of a large amount of energy. E.g.

$$\scriptsize _{1} ^{2} \textrm {H} \; \rightarrow \; _{2} ^{4} \textrm {He} \; + \; _{0} ^{1} \textrm {n} \; + \; energy$$

Nuclear Fission

This is the breaking up of the nucleus of a heavy atom or element into nearly two equal parts with the release of large amounts of energy. e.g.

$$\scriptsize _{92} ^{235} \textrm {U}\; + \; _{0} ^{1} \textrm {n} \; \rightarrow \; _{56} ^{141} \textrm {Ba} \; + \; _{36} ^{92} \textrm {Kr} \; + \; _{0} ^{1} \textrm {n} + energy$$

The total mass of the product is always less than the original mass of uranium as a result of mass defect

Chain Reaction

When the nucleus of uranium is bombarded with a neutron, it split into two nearly equal parts with the release of large amount of energy. When neutrons are not controlled, further bombardment of uranium nuclei can take place and cause chain reactions

The chain reaction can continue as long as any uranium fuel remains and large amount of energy is produced