How nuclear fission and fusion work

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  1. #1
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    How nuclear fission and fusion work


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    Hello my fellow RaGEZONERs!

    Today I am going to explain to you in my own words the difference between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, and how exactly they work. Let's get right down to business!

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    Let's start off with the basics. We have energy that is present throughout the entire universe. Everything you can think of is made of energy - and as you may have read in my other thread about how Atomic bombs work - according to the law of conservation of energy, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can be transformed or manipulated, but you cannot create energy out of nothing and you cannot turn energy into nothing.

    With this knowledge we then move onto the basic building blocks of matter, these are quarks, fermions, baryons, mesons, gluons, hadrons and bosons. Every quark consists of 2 up quarks and one down quark. These are called "point particles" and are what make up everything in the universe. What holds these together you may be wondering? Something called the Electromagnetic Force, which is one of the forces of nature. Remember how I said that everything in the universe is energy? Energy is what holds everything that is electrically charged together.

    Now we go up on the scale of particles to atoms. Atoms consist of protons, neutrons and electrons. These particles make up what is called the Nucleus of the atom, or the center of the atom. A proton has a positive electric charge, a neutron has no electric charge or is neutral, and an electron has a negative charge. Any negative or positive charge will interact with and be attracted to a neutral charge; this may better explain how particles are electrically held together.

    Now that we have the very basis of particles and particle physics explained we can move onto how energy is transferred/transformed from one form to another through nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. The difference is very easy to understand if you follow along.

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    Nuclear Fission:

    First let's look at the etymology of the words Nuclear and Fission, this will help us get a drastically better understanding. (The etymology is the origin and definition of a word.) Nuclear - meaning the nucleus, or center of. Fission - meaning from findere or to split. So essentially Nuclear Fission is the splitting of the nucleus of an atom.

    Again, remember how I said that everything is made of energy? Well, every atom consists of energy and has energy 'stored' inside of it. This is referred to as potential energy, or energy that is, "possessed by virtue of its position relative to others, stresses within itself, electric charge, and other factors." When you split the said atom apart, energy is transformed from potential energy and released in the form of kinetic energy - or energy possessed by a body in motion. When you split the atom that is at rest, it causes the nucleus to split and move away from itself, resulting in kinetic energy. Atomic fission bombs use this process to create huge explosions.

    Nuclear Fusion:

    Again, let's look at the etymology or definition of the words Nuclear and Fusion to get a better understanding of the term. Nuclear - meaning the nucleus, or again, the center of. Fusion - meaning to join one or more things together into one. So essentially Nuclear Fusion is the joining of atoms together which again, just like fission, causes the release of energy in the form of kinetic energy or electromagnetic radiation.

    Now you may be wondering or asking yourself, okay, how does joining one or more atoms together cause the release of energy? Well, when you take (for example) one hydrogen atom and strike another hydrogen atom to fuse them together, a new nucleus is formed which creates another electron proton and neutron. This releases energy. The most common use for nuclear fusion is within nuclear power plants because the reaction and process can be controlled and sustained, whereas with nuclear fission, the chain reaction and process is uncontrolled and unstable, causing a huge explosion, rather than a controlled release of energy.

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    So there you have it, my explanation on the difference between and how nuclear fission and fusion work. I hope you enjoyed reading! If you have any questions please feel free to ask, and remember, no question is a stupid question no matter what it is!


  2. #2
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: How nuclear fission and fusion work

    Decided to draw up a diagram on paper for how it works. Here it is;

    Nuclear Fission:



    Nuclear Fusion:





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