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 Form 4 Physics: Radioactivity online lessons

Meaning of Nuclear fission and its applications

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Nuclear fission
Nuclear fission is a process in which a nucleus splits into two or more lighter nuclei. This process generates large amounts of energy together with neutron emission. Nearly 80% of the energy produced appears as kinetic energy of the fission fragments. For example Uranium-235 undergoes nuclear fission when bombarded with slow neutrons releasing 2-3
neutrons per Uranium molecule and every neutron released brings about the fission of another Uranium-235nuclei. Another substance which undergoes the same process is Plutonium-239. Substances which undergo fission directly with slow neutrons are known as fissile substances or isotopes.
Applications of nuclear fission
1. They are used in the manufacture of atomic bombs
where tremendous amount of energy is released within a very short time leading to an explosion.
2. When this release of energy is controlled such that it can be released at a steady rate then it is converted into electrical energy hence the principle in nuclear reactors.