Nuclear Fission

Reactions are endless around us and they are occurring at every moment. However, there are specific reactions that may have adverse effects on human beings if they come in close contact. Chemical reactions are such occurrences which can be both useful and harmful, especially if they are not controlled.

Students often ask what is nuclear fission, which is an integral part of studying Physics as a subject in high school. This topic, interesting as it is, also involves a great deal of concepts which must be learnt in-depth. 

Nevertheless, nuclear reactions such as fission reactions are considered to be highly energetic in nature. It means the process emits a huge amount of energy while taking place. 

What Do You Mean By a Nuclear Reaction?

To understand what is fission, students need to get a detailed background of the same. So, let us understand a nuclear reaction first. Here, the word nuclear indicates and relates to the nucleus of an atom.

So, when the atom is bombarded with another particle with high energy, the reaction that takes place is called a nuclear reaction. Students should note here that the reaction causes an irreversible change in the characteristics of the atom. 

Also, the high energy particle can be either an alpha particle, a proton, a heavy ion or a gamma-ray photon, etc. Do remember, an external particle for bombarding is necessary whenever you ask for what is nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.

Both these reactions require an external agent to initiate the reaction. Hence, students should be aware of the names of such agents too.

What is the Meaning of Nuclear Fission?

The nuclear fission definition states that on a nuclear reaction the particle or atom splits into two smaller and lighter nuclei. You must also note, on the splitting of an atom, its two daughter nuclei weigh lighter than the parent nucleus. 

Here, in the picture above, as you can see, an atom has split into two. The nuclear fission meaning is that it will keep on splitting the atoms one after another. Furthermore, it also releases a huge amount of energy. 

Therefore, this kind of reaction is usually explosive in nature. You may take help of an example of nuclear fission reaction for better understanding. Uranium is such an element that undergoes nuclear reaction.

Nuclear Energy - A Brief Explanation

The mass of an atom is concentrated in its nucleus. As already mentioned while explaining what is nuclear fission, it releases a large amount of energy while going through fission. This energy is called nuclear energy. 

You should note that there is another kind of nuclear reaction called nuclear fusion. In this process, the atoms get together and release energy. Both these processes release a massive amount of energy which is termed as nuclear energy.

Another vital aspect related to this discussion is that of the nuclear fission equation, which should be taken into account while studying. 

Nuclear Reactors in Power Plants

The real-life application of nuclear fission is in producing electricity. You might have heard about nuclear power plants. It is one of the most convenient options for mass production of electricity. The reaction releases high energy which is then processed through multiple layers to produce electric power. 

To know about the nuclear fission process in a more detailed manner, you can look into our website. You can also download our Vedantu app for enhanced and ease of learning.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion?

Ans. When you define nuclear fission and fusion reactions, both release a high amount of energy. The former involves splitting of an atom into two. The latter involves combining of two atoms into one.

2. What is Nuclear Energy?

Ans. Nuclear energy is the energy released during nuclear reactions, as per fusion and fission examples. These reactions release huge heat or energy during splitting and combining of atoms respectively. 

3. How are Fission and Fusion Reactions Different?

Ans. As we define fission, it is the splitting of an atom when hit with a highly active proton or neutron. On the other hand, nuclear fusion is the combination of two atoms into one single atom.