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What is the difference of nuclear fusion and nuclear fission?

im in 9th grade and im totally lost.
my teacher assigned us an essay.
we have to compare nuclear fusion and nuclear fission.
pleaseee help me

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3 Responses to “What is the difference of nuclear fusion and nuclear fission?”

  1. [email protected] said :

    NIce. Chemistry in 9th grade. Fusion involves a reaction such that atoms combine forming a new atom with a higher atomic number. Fission is where an atom splits in a way to form a new atom with a lower atomic number. Both generate lots of heat (This is used to create atomic and nuclear bombs). Fusion usually occurs on the sun.

  2. wjllope said :

    fusion = add two light nuclei together to make a heavier nucleus.

    fission = split a heavy nucleus into two lighter nuclei.

    whether either of these processes releases or requires energy depends on the elements. the energy that would be released is the difference in the binding energies of the nuclei before and after.

    e.g. the sun fuses protons through three primary processes (that involve intermediate steps involving deuterons, 3-He nuclei etc) into Helium-4 nuclei. He-4 nuclei are *extremely* tightly bound, so these processes result in excess energy that the sun emits in prodigious quantities as light and heat.

    some elements are heavy enough that they fission all by themselves (“spontaneous fission”).
    fusion generally requires that one can smash together the nuclei that one wants to fuse somehow. this can be done at accelerators, or by setting up high temperature conditions using e.g. lasers…


    edit: to the poster above me – i did not vote you down there. i *never* click to down-vote. but perhaps the issue that someone had was the fact that you used the word “atom”.
    it is *nuclei* that are fusing or fissioning… cheers

  3. Petra Nieckchen said :

    Find lot more information, video anmd picture about fusion research on our web page!


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