• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11

Fission and Fusion (Open Book paper 2008)

Extracts from this document...


Discuss, with the use of examples, the main differences between ?- and �-decay and explain how nuclear fission reactions differ from natural radioactive decay. The differences between alpha and beta decay ?-decay �-decay Emitted particle Helium-4 nucleus, 2 protons and 2 neutrons, +2 charge, 4 amu [1] Electron (made from a neutron dividing into an electron and a proton), -1 charge, 0.00055 amu [1] Most common in Heavier elements (atomic number > 83) [1] Elements with a greater ratio of neutrons to protons (generally elements lighter than lead, atomic number < 82) [2] Example equations [3] 224Ra --> 220Rn + 4He 231Po --> 227Ac + 4He 238U --> 234Th + 4He 225Rn --> 225Ac + 0e- 40K --> 40Ca + 0e- 14C --> 14N + 0e- Table 1 - the differences between alpha and beta decay Sources [1], [2], [3] The differences between nuclear fission and natural radioactive decay In natural radioactive decay, an unstable isotope of an element decays into a different atom and an emission (alpha/beta particle, or energy in the case of gamma/? radiation). This is a spontaneous natural process with a random rate. Nuclear fission is also the splitting of a nucleus into two smaller parts, but each of these is an element in itself. ...read more.


o The control rods absorb neutrons, taking them out of the chain reaction. The rods can be moved to different depths to absorb different amounts of neutrons, controlling the rate of reaction. If they are fully inserted, all of the neutrons are absorbed and the reactor shuts down. The reactor is cooled by passing fluids (often molten sodium metal or carbon dioxide) through pipes around the reactor. This then boils water to form steam, which is used to turn turbines, generating electricity. Advantages Disadvantages Relatively little fuel is needed Possibility of nuclear meltdown from uncontrolled reaction Relatively inexpensive once plant is built Waste products can be used to manufacture weapons Fuel is available around the world High initial cost because plant requires containment safeguards Not believed to contribute to global warming Storage of radioactive waste with long half-life Table 2 - advantages and disadvantages of fission as an electricity source Source [12] Fusion Image 4 - deuterium-tritium fusion reaction Source [13] Under the right conditions (see section 4), the repellent forces between the positive nuclei are overcome, and the strong nuclear forces fuse the nuclei together. For experimental electricity production on Earth, the reaction chosen by scientists is the one shown in image 4 - deuterium (hydrogen-2) ...read more.


http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-81189/transuranium-element#622175.hook [3] Lise Meitner, Radiochemist, physicist and co-discoverer of nuclear fission, Gordon Woods, Chemistry Review, Volume 16, Number 1, September 2006. Box 1 (page 3) and page 4. [4] Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction, Nature - Physics Portal. 24/03/08 http://www.nature.com/physics/looking-back/meitner/index.html [5] Nuclear Fission, Thinkquest. 30/03/08 http://library.thinkquest.org/3471/fission_body.html [6] Fusion, Powering the Future? Chris Warrick, Chemistry Review, Volume 16, Number 1, September 2006. Box 1 (page 9). [7] A Moving Model of the Beginning of the Universe, NASA. Page 5. 24/03/08 http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/elements/imagine/BigBang/student_handout.pdf [8] Adapted from Primordial Nucleosynthesis, OpenLearn LabSpace. 24/03/08 http://labspace.open.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=167939 [9] Oxford Illustrated Science Encyclopaedia. 24/03/08 http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.co.uk/images/oxed/children/yoes/atoms/fission.jpg [10] Why is energy released during a fission reaction? MadSci Network. 24/03/08 http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2006-08/1154618198.Ph.r.html [11] Lise Meitner, Radiochemist, physicist and co-discoverer of nuclear fission, Gordon Woods, Chemistry Review, Volume 16, Number 1, September 2006. Box 2 (page 6). [12] Energy Matters: Advantages and Disadvantages, Thinkquest. 24/03/08. http://library.thinkquest.org/20331/types/fission/advant.html [13] Nuclear Fusion, Splung Physics. 24/03/08. http://www.splung.com/content/sid/5/page/fusion [14] Fusion, Powering the Future? Chris Warrick, Chemistry Review, Volume 16, Number 1, September 2006. Box 2 (page 10). [15] Comparisons of various energy sources, The Virtual Nuclear Tourist. 25/03/08. http://www.nucleartourist.com/basics/why.htm [16] Fusion Basics, Focus On: Fusion Technology, and Multimedia, EFDA-JET. 24/03/08 http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/fusion-basics/fusion2.html http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/fusion-basics/fusion3.html http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/fusion-basics/fusion4.html http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/fusion-basics/fusion5.html http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/fusion-basics/fusion6.html http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/focus/fusion-tech/index.html http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/multimedia/gallery/index.html ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Inorganic Chemistry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Inorganic Chemistry essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Investigation to determine the Relative atomic mass of Li

    5 star(s)

    Phenolphthalein indicator is an irritant and is thought to be mildly carcinogenic gloves should be used when handling. When using glassware caution should be used. On filling burettes/pipettes it is imperative that they be filled below eye level. Investigation Evaluation.

  2. effects Concentration and Temperature on the Rate of Reaction

    It should also be read at eye level to avoid a parallax error. Each measurement in my actual experiment will be carried out 5 times to confirm my result. Repetitions increase reliability by proving that each reading is not a 'one off' and can be achieved the majority of the time.

  1. The Effects of Strong and Weak Acids on the Order of a Reaction.

    For First order graphs, the successive half lives are equal. This means that the time taken for the concentration of the reactants to be halved is constant. For Second order graphs, the successive half lives of the curve increase in size.

  2. Chemistry notes - Chemistry of Natural Resources, Elements from the Sea, Ions ...

    This results in a redox reaction in which the chlorine displaces the Iodine, becoming reduced, and the Iodine becomes oxidised. Oxidation states The oxidation states of atoms are always zero, and the combined oxidation states within a compound must always add up to zero.

  1. easy e

    This then reinforces the fact that Pip does not have the best childhood and that he is very lonely. During the first part of great expectations Pip does not talk about any children, he never mentions playing with children. Most children in Pips time would have been playing games, play

  2. Additivity of Heats of Reaction: Hesss Law Design and Data Collection

    Reaction 3: Temperature increases very fast. It jumped all the way to 26�C in 3 seconds right after pouring 50.0mL of 1.0M NaOH into 50.0mL of 1.0M HCl. Table #4: Results collected by Zheting and Melissa: Initial Volume Mass of NaOH [m] Initial Final Temperature [t2] Reaction Temperature [t1] measured � 0.005 (g) � 0.5 (�C)

  1. Energy and Rates Analysis of Chemical Reactions

    Pour the products down the drain of a functioning sink. Wash calorimeter and thermometers. 8. Repeat steps 2 and 3. 9. Transfer each sample of aqueous acid into a separate, labeled 100mL beaker. Ensure that each acid is at approximately the same temperature. 10. Prepare the three stopwatches. 11.

  2. relative atomic mass of lithium

    Secondly there was loss of hydrogen. When lithium reacted with distilled water, hydrogen gas was produced and was collected using a measuring cylinder. Some gas may have escaped as it got to the measuring cylinder from the conical flask. A modification for this error can be to use vaseline around

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work