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CBSE - X - Physics - Sources of Energy

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

Asked by 12th September 2013, 11:42 AM
Answered by Expert


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 Expert 12th September 2013, 12:11 PM

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