Nuclear notes

Nuclear notes - Nuclear Power and the Environmental Issues...

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Nuclear Power and the Environmental Issues Nuclear Reactions 0. It was originally thought that the fundamental particle of matter was the atom – and that atoms could neither be created nor destroyed. 1. The discovery that atoms were made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons suggested the possibility that one type of atom could be transformed into another type of atom by adding or subtracting these fundamental particles. 2. The reactions are either FUSION or FISSION. Fission vs. Fusion Nuclear Reactions Terms and Definitions 0. Fission: a large atom of one element is split to produce two different smaller elements 1. Fusion: two small atoms combine to form a larger atom of a different element 2. Isotope: different (mass number) forms of the same element Nuclear Fusion in the SUN ! 3. This happens every day as hydrogen isotopes are transformed into helium in the sun. 4. In this type of equation, atoms are written in the form where X is the atomic symbol, Z is the atomic number of the atom (basically the number of protons an atom contains) and A is the mass number of the atom (the total number of protons and neutrons in the atom). A Z X Example: 2 1 H is deuterium (heavy hydrogen) Nuclear Fusion Formula: 3. Fusion is the nuclear reaction that combines the hydrogen isotopes into helium and releases huge amounts of energy as in the sun and stars. 4. The equation is: 2 1 H + 3 1 H 4 2 He + 1 0 n +E Nuclear Fission Reaction
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5. Fission is the process of breaking down the nucleus by physical bombardment with neutrons of other decaying radioactive atoms. 6. This is the type of reaction that is used in modern nuclear reactors and was the first “Atomic Bomb” mechanism. Nuclear Fission Reaction 5. As the first nucleus decays it gives off 3 neutrons that strike other atoms and cause them to decay in a cascading reaction. Nuclear Power Reactor 6. A nuclear reactor is a complex heat exchanger with a steam driven generator. The Infamous: E = mc 2 7. Albert Einstein predicted and was proven correct that in extreme conditions Matter can be turned into Energy with his equation E = mc 2 ! The “c” here is the velocity of light which is a Really Big Number! 8. This happens in both nuclear reactions where a small amount of
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Nuclear notes - Nuclear Power and the Environmental Issues...

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