What is nuclear reaction? List any five difference between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.

Asked by  | 12th Sep, 2013, 11:42: AM

Expert Answer:

Nuclear reaction is a process in which nucleus of an atom changes. There are two ways in which this reaction can occur these are nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.
Nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which one heavy nucleus split into two or more lighter nuclei.
Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more light nuclei fuse to form a heavy nucleus.


Nuclear Fission

Nuclear Fusion


Fission is the splitting of a large atom into two or more smaller ones.

Fusion is the fusing of two or more lighter atoms into a larger one.

Natural occurrence of the process:

Fission reaction does not normally occur in nature.

Fusion occurs in stars, such as the sun.

Byproducts of the reaction:

Fission produces many highly radioactive particles.

Few radioactive particles are produced by fusion reaction, but if a fission "trigger" is used, radioactive particles will result from that.


Critical mass of the substance and high-speed neutrons are required.

High density, high temperature environment is required.

Energy Requirement:

Takes little energy to split two atoms in a fission reaction.

Extremely high energy is required to bring two or more protons close enough that nuclear forces overcome their electrostatic repulsion.

Energy Released:

The energy released by fission is a million times greater than that released in chemical reactions; but lower than the energy released by nuclear fusion.

The energy released by fusion is three to four times greater than the energy released by fission.

Answered by  | 12th Sep, 2013, 12:11: PM

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