B Basic definition: Nuclear Fusion & Fission

  • Thread starter A M
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A M

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Summary
I want to write a student article specially for those who don't have a background in nuclear physics. I've been suggested to share my basic understanding & ask if they're correct.
I would be grateful if anyone could explain where my mistakes are:
(Please note that diagrams are designed just to give a simple imagination of the article & make it more understandable; they do NOT correspond precise information.)
The best-known classes of nuclear transmutations are fission and fusion:
Nuclear Fusion
Under normal condition, nuclei do not stick together; because they repel each other at large distances (due to the electrostatic repulsion 'barrier') and thus the strong nuclear force cannot act. But if these nuclei get enough velocity (by very high temperature and pressure) to overcome each other's mutual repulsion sufficiently, they will have a chance to get within range of the strong nuclear attraction. And according to the fact that the nuclear force is stronger than the electric force at close range, these nuclei 'tunnel' through the electrostatic 'barrier' and stick together during a process called 'nuclear fusion'. Fusion is the process that powers high magnitude stars.

Nuclear Fission
In nuclear physics, 'fission' is a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process, in which the nucleus of a heavier atom can break up and produce [often two] lighter nuclei and neutron/s. So, by this general definition, some modes of radioactive decay (SF, CD, α, p) would count as nuclear fission.

References:
 
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I don't think there's any inaccuracy as such - especially as it's an introduction topic - but when describing fission you are "hiding" a significant topic in your description by adding "and neutron(s)' into the sentence. You might want to consider explaining - or at least noting that there is a separate topic of enquiry - why some of the neutrons in the original nucleus are ejected during the split.
 

A M

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when describing fission you are "hiding" a significant topic in your description by adding "and neutron(s)' into the sentence.
Yes, you're right. So you suggest me to remove "and neutron/s" or explain more about it? (I think that's better to remove it to avoid confusion.)
 
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I wouldn't suggest you remove it from the article, but maybe just from the definitions that you lead with. When you delve deeper in your article, you can then talk about the stability of a nucleus, the role the neutron plays in that stability and why fission can result in some neutrons being ejected - a handy outcome if you want to use the reaction in power station!
 

A M

83
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When you delve deeper in your article, you can then talk about the stability of a nucleus
I agree with you, but that's only a small part of my article. (The whole is more than 2000 words!)
As you know, it takes much more time to explain radioactive decay, stability and half life, which needs to be written in another long article! (I may write it after this :smile: )
At first, I want to explain fundamentals (like binding energy, simple reactions and released/utilized energy) and then explain more complicated definitions.
 

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