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Chemical and nuclear reaction

  1. Aug 10, 2007 #1
    In chemical reactions the individual elements present in the reactants are the same as in the products of the reaction. Is this true for nuclear reaction?

    My attempt
    Nuclear reactants produce new products, and a new element can be made. This means that a new element with different proton and neutron numbers is formed in a nuclear reaction
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2007 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    More or less correct.

    The 'chemical' nature of an element is determined by the number of protons. The atomic (or nuclear) mass can vary with the number of neutrons, but chemically it is still the same element.

    Nuclear reactions that change the number of protons will change the element.
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