Both fission and fusion are natural atomic processes that release incredible amounts of energy, but in many ways they are the opposite. Nuclear fission It involves the splitting of a single, generally heavy nucleus, fusion Requires a combination of two or more lights atom..
Atoms include protons and neutrons bonded in the core.Radioactive elements such as uranium, The heart of the atom may contain dozens of these particles.
Fission occurs when heavy elements such as uranium spontaneously decay and the nucleus divides. The resulting half mass is slightly less than the original atomic core, and the missing mass is converted to energy.
Physicists Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch It’s been found The underlying principle of nuclear fission after receiving a private letter from the nuclear chemist Otto Hahn in December 1938.Hahn’s experiments show that neutron-impacted uranium atoms split, and Meitner and Frisch Quantum mechanics To explain why this happened.
All three scientists quickly realized the horrific effects of the discoveries that were taking place behind World War II.A single instance of fission can emit a relatively small amount of power, but many fission reactions that occur at the same time are very destructive when used to develop something like: Could have been Atomic bomb..
Fission for energy and weapons
When a uranium atom naturally undergoes fission, it emits caring neutrons. When this neutron hits another nearby uranium atom, it also splits, causing a chain reaction. According to the company, in 1951, engineers built the first power plant to use the process of fission to generate energy. US Department of Energy..
At nuclear power plants, this process is carefully controlled. Fission releases heat, which boils water and produces steam that spins turbines.
However, with an atomic bomb, the chain reaction becomes uncontrollable and fission occurs at an ever-increasing rate. This releases a tremendous amount of power in a short period of time, resulting in a catastrophic explosion of the bomb.
Why Fusion Doesn’t Generate Energy Yet
In contrast, fusion has not yet been fully developed as a source of human power. Fusion requires two nuclei of light elements, such as hydrogen, to overcome their natural electromagnetic repulsion and fuse into a single heavier nucleus.
The resulting entity is slightly smaller in mass than the original two nuclei, and as in fission, this lost mass is converted into energy. However, it is not easy to generate enough power to crush the atoms until they stick together, and in general, the extreme environment of the star belly must occur.
Engineers have long dreamed of causing a sustained fusion reaction here. Earth.. Fusion power generation produces less nuclear waste than fission and uses relatively common light elements such as hydrogen instead of the rare uranium to supply fuel. International Atomic Energy Agency..
Relation: Fusion reactors could come here in 2025
However, it is difficult to create and maintain fusion. International experiments to test the feasibility of producing energy using sustained fusion are Made a magnet It’s about the height of a four-story building and 280,000 times more powerful. Earth’s magnetic field, As part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
However, ITER, a scientific partnership between 35 countries, has suffered many delays during construction and is not expected to generate more electricity than it consumes. At least the 2030s..