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Difference Between Nuclear Fusion and Fission

Nuclear Fusion vs Fission

In physics, it was taught that an action always has an equal but opposite reaction. That is the ultimate philosophy in physics and thereby all events and actions always have a corresponding opposite reaction. This is the main core of nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. These are two different types of reactions which releases certain amounts of energy. In simple chemistry, one creates smaller atoms while the other one combines atoms to form a larger one.

Nuclear fusion

Nuclear fusion by definition means the fusing of 2 or more atoms to create a larger one. This type of reaction allows the atoms to combine in order to create a larger atom with a higher atomic number. A way to make nuclear fusion to occur is by allowing two or more nuclei to be near each other to form a reaction which causes the atoms to stick together and combine to form as one. Nuclear fusion is said to occur in nature or it happens naturally. A good example would be the stars in the galaxy. It is said that millions of stars have fused to become one giant massive heat we now call as the sun.

Nuclear fission

On the other hand, nuclear fission is the opposite of fusion. Nuclear fission is the division of a large atom into two or more smaller pieces. In order to create fission, 2 conditions should be met: a very slow neutron is necessary for the process of division to occur and a minimal amount of a particular substance for fission to occur. This amount is called critical mass, which is dependent on the neutron itself. A nuclear fission does not occur in nature the way fusion does.

Both nuclear fusion and fission releases very large and substantial amount of energy and both have the same energy source, which is the atom itself. The difference allows us to understand the process better and will also help us understand the concept of both nuclear fusion and nuclear fission.

In Brief:

1. Nuclear fission and fusion both releases large amounts of energy.

2. Both produce the energy from the same energy source: atom.

3. Nuclear fusion occurs in nature, the sun is the most basic example while fission on the other hand does not occur naturally.

4. Nuclear fusion is the combination of 2 or more atoms to create 1 large atom. Nuclear fission is the division of a larger atom into 2 or smaller atomic particles.

5. In nuclear fusion, two or more nuclei should be near each other in order to create energy for both to stick together. Nuclear fission on the other hand, needs to have a critical mass and a very slow neutron for the splitting to occur


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