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Products and energy from Iron 56 fission

  1. Jun 3, 2013 #1
    I know the iron-56 nucleus is not a good fission candidate, and that more energy is required to split iron-56 than what is required to split it.

    But theoretically, if one were to split iron-56, what would be the products and what would be the energy obtained per unit mass?

    Would there be harmful (e.g., beta emission or other) radiation? I realize that a runaway chain reaction is not possible.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2013 #2


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    Fission can lead to many different results. Some of them would be radioactive, some of them would not.
    The energy required? Depends on the fission method and products.
  4. Jun 4, 2013 #3
    I'm not asking for the "net" energy obtained from splitting iron-56, as it probably is negative. I'm asking what the absolute energy release would be after splitting iron-56.

    Perhaps I should ask, "what energy is required to split iron-56?", given that it's the same or more than what is obtained from splitting it.

    "MFB" asked about the fission method. I don't know what the available fission methods are. What about least complex or most likely method?

  5. Jun 5, 2013 #4


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    The released energy is the incoming energy (if you shoot with protons, neutrons, photons, electrons or whatever) minus the energy loss from fission.
    I have no idea what the most likely fission products are, and it will depend on the beam you use to induce fission, too.

    56Fe has 26 protons and 30 neutrons and a mass of 55.9349375(7) u.
    Possible daughter nuclei include 26Mg (12 protons, 14 neutrons, mass 25.982592929(30) u) and 30Si (14 protons, 16 neutrons, mass 29.97377017(3) u).
    55.9349375-25.982592929-29.97377017 gives 19.93 MeV to split iron into those nuclei. This is an upper limit, other fission reactions might need less energy.
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