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Is fusion a chemical reaction

  1. Aug 21, 2015 #1
    im reading a chemistry text and its says in daltons law chemicals can not change into atoms during a chemical reaction.but if fusion is a chemical reaction then this is wrong beacuse in stars for example hydrogen combine with hydrogen to form helium .i guest i need a little clarification of what a chemical reaction is.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Fusion is not a chemical reaction. It is a nuclear reaction. In chemical reactions nuclei don't change. Chemical reactions take place in low temperatures (up to several thousands K), while fusion requires temperatures many orders of magnitude higher (billions of K).
  4. Aug 21, 2015 #3
    i guest i need a little clarification of what a chemical reaction is

    chemical reactions involve electrons

    nuclear reactions involve particles inside the atomic nucleus - protons and neutrons
  5. Aug 21, 2015 #4
    I think not. Chemical reaction involves two substances that are chemically combined to form a brand new substance which is different from its original properties while nuclear reaction involves two nuclei colliding with each other at high speed to form a new type of atomic nucleus. (Am I correct?) Just like the Sun, hydrogen fuses with hydrogen to form helium via nuclear fusion.
  6. Aug 21, 2015 #5
    Nuclear reactions involve changes to atomic nucleii, transforming the atom into that of a different element.
    Nucleii combining to form heavier elements is fusion.
    Then there also is fission where a heavier element's nucleus breaks up.
    Commonly a helium nucleus splits off from the heavy nucleus and the remainder becomes a lighter element, which may then undergo still further decay.

    Chemical reactions do not involve nucleii, the elements remain the same but they are recombined in different ways.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  7. Aug 21, 2015 #6
    thank you guys i get it now .
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