Nuclear Reactions. Nuclear fission and fusion

What do you know about nuclear reactions and the differences between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion?

The online nuclear reaction simulations on this page enlighten us on the basic principles of these reactions, which are the foundation of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors for power generation.

Radioactivity is the phenomenon by which some chemical elements, called radioisotopes, spontaneously emit radiation. This radiation can be in the form of alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays or a combination of these types of radiation.

Radioactivity occurs due to the nuclear instability of certain atoms. The nuclei of these atoms are unstable and tend to decay, releasing energy in the form of radiation. This radiation can have ionizing effects, which means that it can release electrons from the atoms and molecules with which it interacts.

Radioisotopes are used in a variety of applications, such as in nuclear medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of disease, in industry for the inspection of materials, and in nuclear power generation.

Radioactivity can be dangerous to living beings if excessive exposure occurs or if radioactive materials are released into the environment in an uncontrolled manner. Prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation can have detrimental health effects, such as cell damage, genetic mutations and increased risk of developing cancer. Therefore, precautions must be taken and safety limits established to minimize exposure to radioactivity and protect people and the environment.

In the event of a nuclear or radiological incident, it is important to follow the directions of the authorities and evacuate or take protective measures as necessary. Regulatory agencies and nuclear safety programs are responsible for monitoring and regulating the use of radioactive materials to ensure the protection of public health and the environment.

Alpha


Alpha decay is a variant of radioactive decay whereby an atomic nucleus emits an alpha particle and becomes a nucleus with four units fewer mass number and two units fewer atomic number.

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Beta decay


Beta decay or beta emission is a process by which an unstable nucleus emits a beta particle (an electron or positron) to compensate for the ratio of neutrons to protons in the atomic nucleus. This disintegration violates parity.

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Nuclear fission


Nuclear fission is the splitting of a nucleus into lighter nuclei, plus some by-products such as free neutrons, photons (usually gamma rays) and other fragments of the nucleus such as alpha (helium nuclei) and beta (high-energy electrons and positrons) particles plus a large amount of energy.

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This Java simulation cannot run on this device because it has a screen that is too narrow. We recommend that, for a better user experience, you run it on a device with a wider screen.

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Although this Java simulation can be run on your device, we recommend that for the better user experience, you run it on a device with a wider screen.

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Nuclear reaction


This simulation is intended to show the principle of a nuclear fission reaction. See what happens when bombarding uranium atoms, depending on the concentration. When considering this simulation, note that the proportions of the model presented may not match reality, that the nucleus has been exaggerated and drawn large, and that the electrons around the nucleus are not shown.
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