What about U-236 makes it unstable? I know what happens to U-236, the fission and the release of neutrons and what not, but what about the absorption of a neutron makes a U-235 unstable, especially when U-238 does it so effortlessly.
Both U235 and U238 are unstable after neutron interaction. U235 usually fissions, while U239 (after neutron absorption) goes through succesive beta decays to Np239 followed by Pu239 (the other important bomb material). The details of why any specific chain of events occurs is quite complicated, although all species with At. no. greater than 82 are unstable.
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