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Unformatted text preview: out just how this all works, and why. Nuclear Fission
Fission = splitting of an
atom, e.g. uranium-235,
that releases energy
Atom splitting also
Free neutrons cause
other atoms to split – a
chain reaction occurs
In a nuclear power
plant, the chain reaction
is kept under control
www.bio.miami.edu/beck/esc101/Chapter14&15.ppt The atom
What is an atom?
basic building block of all matter
central nucleus surrounded by cloud of
negatively charged electrons
made up of protons and neutrons
proton has positive charge; mass = 1.007276 a.m.u.
neutron has no charge; mass = 1.008665 a.m.u.
proton by itself (hydrogen nucleus) will last forever
neutron by itself will “decay” with a half-life of 10.4 min The atomic mass unit (a.m.u.)
The a.m.u is based on 12C:
6 protons, 6 neutrons, 6 electrons
defined to be 12.0000000000 a.m.u.
If we add the constituent masses:
protons: 6×1.00727647 = 6.04365876
neutrons: 6×1.008664923 = 6.051989538
electrons: 6×0.000548579909 =...
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This document was uploaded on 12/05/2013.
- Fall '13