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Young Writer Seeking Help

  1. Dec 22, 2013 #1
    I have an insane hypothetical question about energy and spitting atoms. I am currently writing my first novel in which my main character has the ability to control and manipulate energy. My hold up right now is what would happen if said character were to split a hydrogen atom with her mind. My idea came from her being so powerful that she could basically create an atom bomb out of thin air. What would happen in real life if someone were able to do this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Dec 26, 2013 #3
    What kind of energy does it take to split a hydrogen atom?
  5. Dec 26, 2013 #4


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    A nuclear weapon works by splitting heavy elements like uranium and plutonium and/or fusing hydrogen isotopes. You cannot split hydrogen like you can uranium because there's nothing to split. Heavy elements have many protons and neutrons, so they can be split into lighter elements. The vast majority of hydrogen is in the form of protium, which is a single proton with an electron. There's literally nothing to "split". Removing the electron from hydrogen isn't splitting, it's known as "ionizing" and takes a a few electron-volts of energy to do.
  6. Dec 26, 2013 #5
    Hydrogen bombs work on basis of fusion and not fission. There is 'clumping together' of atoms rather than splitting: 421px-FusionintheSun.svg.png

    About splitting- there are three isotopes/types of hydrogen atoms: protium (single proton) deuterium(1proton,1neutron) tritium(1proton,2neutron); protium is the most common.
    Splitting a proton into its constituent quarks would take energy rather than release it.
    Splitting a deuterium into proton and neutron too will take up energy too, but tritium being radio-active will release energy when it undergoes beta-emission but not enough for a H-bomb.
  7. Dec 27, 2013 #6
  8. Dec 27, 2013 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    Conversely if your character can manipulate energy then why can't she fuse hydrogen together to make other elements?
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