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Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion

Chemistry | 13-14 yrs | Interactive

Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion are reactions which convert matter into energy.

What is matter?

The world you see around us has many things and all of this is made up of matter. Matter is anything and everything in the universe that occupies space.

What is the relationship between matter and energy?

The matter is made up of energy. Energy is what makes us do work.

What is nuclear fusion?

  • When matter fuses together to release energy, that is nuclear fusion.
  • All matter is made up of molecules, molecules are made up of atoms and atoms have a nucleus and electrons.
  • The Sun produces sunlight through nuclear fusion.
  • Inside the sun- where it is very hot, the nucleus of one atom and the nucleus of another atom come together and become one. A little bit of matter is left out- that little bit of matter is converted into a lot of energy.

What is nuclear fission?

  • Nuclear Fission is the process through which energy is created in nuclear power plants. It is also how nuclear bombs work.
  • In nuclear fission, the nucleus of an atom breaks into two or more nuclei (plural for nucleus). When the nucleus breaks, some matter is lost, this small amount of matter is converted into a large amount of energy. These broken nuclei then go and bombard other nuclei , those nuclei then break into more nuclei and this process can go on and on releasing a tremendous amount of energy.