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1254_Physics ProblemsTechnical Physics

1254_Physics ProblemsTechnical Physics - 45 Applications of...

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45 CHAPTER OUTLINE 45.1 Interactions Involving Neutrons 45.2 Nuclear Fission 45.3 Nuclear Reactors 45.4 Nuclear Fusion 45.5 Radiation Damage 45.6 Radiation Detectors 45.7 Uses of Radiation Applications of Nuclear Physics ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS Q45.1 A moderator is used to slow down neutrons released in the fission of one nucleus, so that they are likely to be absorbed by another nucleus to make it fission. Q45.2 The hydrogen nuclei in water molecules have mass similar to that of a neutron, so that they can efficiently rob a fast-moving neutron of kinetic energy as they scatter it. Once the neutron is slowed down, a hydrogen nucleus can absorb it in the reaction n H H 1 2 + 1 1 . Q45.3 The excitation energy comes from the binding energy of the extra nucleon. Q45.4 The advantage of a fission reaction is that it can generate much more electrical energy per gram of fuel compared to fossil fuels. Also, fission reactors do not emit greenhouse gasses as combustion byproducts like fossil fuels—the only necessary environmental discharge is heat. The cost involved
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