What is Nuclear Fission? Explained



Most of the electricity we use today is generated by nuclear power plants. But to understand how it is produced, we need to know about some of the phenomena of it, one of which is nuclear fission. If you don't know what nuclear fission is, this article is for you. Here I am going to unlock the details of nuclear fission. In this article, you will know

1. What is Nuclear Fission?
2. What is Nuclear Energy?

3. Calculation of Nuclear Energy 4.  Uses of Nuclear Energy

What is Nuclear Fission?

There are some heavy atoms ( such as uranium-235 ) that are found on our planet whose nuclei are unstable. When such a heavy atom is bombarded with slow neutrons, it fragmented into two parts ( Ba-144 and Kr-92 ) of less or equal comparable size, and a tremendous amount of energy is released. This phenomenon of the division or disintegration of a heavy nucleus into two nuclei of comparable masses is known as nuclear fission .

The reason for the release of energy is that the sum of masses of the daughter/product nuclei is less than the sum of the parent/reactant nucleus and neutron i.e there is a loss of mass in this reaction. This loss in mass is converted into energy. This energy can be calculated through Einstein's mass-energy equivalent relation.
Where c is the speed of light, which is nearly 299792458 m/s.

What is Nuclear Energy?

In a nuclear change due to  radioactive phenomena  such as Radioactive decay , nuclear fission, or fusion, the total sum  of masses of the daughter/product nuclei is always less than the sum of the parent/reactant nucleus. This means that some amount of mass is lost in this change.

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This loss in mass in this nuclear changes is converted into energy. This energy is called  nuclear energy . In 1905 on the basis of the theory of relativity Einstein suggests that mass and energy are interchangeable. So he gave a mass-energy equivalent relation, which is given above. This relationship between mass and energy is used to determine how much energy can be produced from the destroyed mass.

Calculation of Nuclear Energy

This very small amount of atomic mass that converted into a tremendous amount of energy is measured in the atomic mass unit (a.m.u) . This unit is related to the S.I unit of mass (kg) is like that

If such 1 a.m.u mass is lost in nuclear reaction then the energy will be released
If This much energy is converted into MeV then it will be
This means that if 1 a.m.u mass is lost in nuclear fission, this lost mass will produce nearly 931MeV of nuclear energy. Uses of Nuclear Energy
If we look at the use of nuclear energy then humans have used this energy in two ways since they came to know about it. This...

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