Aim why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy
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Aim: Why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy?. Essential Questions : Compare and contrast nuclear fission with fusion. Distinguish between natural transmutation, artificial transmutation, and radioactive decay. Describe the characteristics of a chain reaction.

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Aim why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy

Aim: Why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy?

Essential Questions:

Compare and contrast nuclear fission with fusion.

Distinguish between natural transmutation, artificial transmutation, and radioactive decay.

Describe the characteristics of a chain reaction.

Describe the particles and electromagnetic waves that make up radioactive emissions.


Aim why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy1
Aim: Why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy?

  • Indian Point

  • Map of nuclear reactors in the U.S.

  • Fission image

  • Nuclear power plant diagram

  • Evans page worksheet fission and fusion


Aim why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy2
Aim: Why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy?

  • Nuclear fission-refers to a nuclear reaction in which a very heavy nucleus splits into two smaller nuclei, each having a higher binding energy per nucleon than original nucleus.

  • Chain reaction- when the particle (usually neutron) that starts a reaction is also produced in the reaction.

  • Critical mass-the smallest mass of radioactive material needed to sustain a reaction.


Aim why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy3
Aim: Why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy?

  • Nuclear fusion-when two small nuclei combine, or fuse, to form a larger more stable nucleus. The new nucleus has a higher binding energy, and energy (a little or A LOT?) is released as it forms.


Aim why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy4
Aim: Why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy?

Do Now: 1. Complete “Band of Stability” lab and copy:

Predicting nuclear stability:

  • Except for smallest nuclei (H and He), all stable nuclei contain a number of neutrons that is equal to or greater than the number of protons.

  • A nucleus with too many or too few neutrons is unstable.

  • Nuclei with even numbers of nucleons are more stable.

    Band of Stability

    2. Take out homework; discussion of radioactivity-decay of unstable nuclei to produce alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma radiation.


Aim why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy5
Aim: Why do fission and fusion reactions release so much energy?

  • Essential Questions:

  • Why do certain elements undergo radioactive decay and others don’t?

  • How do the nuclei of atoms stay intact if protons are positive, and like charges repel?

  • Describe the various types of radioactive decay in terms of charge, mass and “penetrating power.”


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