Fusion answers


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FUSION/FISSION QUESTIONS & ANSWERS 1. Why does a chain reaction not occur in uranium mines? There is not enough U-235 present in the ore. It is just 0.7% of the total uranium and it needs to be around 4% to allow chain reactions to occur. 2. What was the function of carbon rods in the atomic reactors? The carbon rods are the “control rods”. They can capture some of the neutrons that are released in the fission process, thus slowing down the reaction if so desired. Removing the rods allow the fission process to run more quickly. 3. What are two possible fates of neutrons in uranium metal? Neutrons may be captured by the control rods (or the circulating water or other non- fissile material) or they may cause a U-235 nucleus to undergo fission. 4. What celebrated equation shows the equivalence of mass and energy? E = mc 2 This tells about the amount of energy released in nuclear processes and how it relates tot the observed mass change of the nuclei. 5. In what form is energy initially released in nuclear fusion? We could call it thermal energy – it’s the kinetic energy of the fast moving nuclei. 6. Why does a neutron make a better nuclear “bullet” than a proton or an electron?
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2011 for the course PHYS 14 taught by Professor Physcs14 during the Spring '09 term at Santa Monica.

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