Nuclear Fission and Fusion

Ella Wolf
Flashcards by Ella Wolf, updated more than 1 year ago
Ella Wolf
Created by Ella Wolf almost 8 years ago


gcse physics Flashcards on Nuclear Fission and Fusion, created by Ella Wolf on 05/13/2013.

Resource summary

Question Answer
what is nuclear fission? Nuclear fission is the SPLITTING of an atomic nucleus
what is nuclear FUSION? the joining of two atomic nuclei to form a larger one
what are the two fissionable substances in common use in nuclear reactors? uranium 235 and plutonium 239
what must happen to the radioactive atom before fission can occur? the nucleus must first absorb a neutron
what happens to the nucleus undergoing fission? the addition of the neutron makes the nucleus unstable causing it to split. the nucleus undergoing fission splits into two smaller nuclei and two or three neutrons and energy is released.
what is a chain reaction?
how is energy released in stars? by nuclear fusion
what conditions are needed for stars to form? enough dust and gas from space is pulled together by gravitational attraction.
how are planets formed? smaller than stars, masses may form and be attracted to a larger mass to become planets
why is a star stable during the 'main sequence' period of its life the forces within it are balanced
a stars life cycle is determined by what? its size
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