Segment B: Fission
Segment B: Fission
We travel to a nuclear power plant to explain what happens inside an atom that undergoes fission and we show you how that process is harnessed to create electricity.
Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about nuclear changes of matter and related technological applications.
Develop and use models to explain, compare, and contrast nuclear processes including radioactive decay, fission, and fusion.
-Define nuclear fission, and explain when nuclear fission occurs.
-Explain why large amounts of energy are released, and how the mass of the fission fragments are less than the mass of the fissioning nucleus.
-Discuss what a chain reaction is and when it occurs.
-Discuss how nuclear reactors work and what waste is created from them.
binding energy (E) - the amount of energy used to keep a nucleus together; equal to the mass defect times the speed of light, squared.
critical mass - the minimum amount of fissile material that can undergo fission needed to maintain a nuclear chain reaction.
fission - the process of splitting an atom into smaller, lighter atoms, releasing energy.
mass defect (Dm) - the difference in mass between the particles within a nucleus and the particles by themselves, not bound within a nucleus.
radioactive decay - the spontaneous emission of charged particles and/or energy from an atom.
strong nuclear force - the strongest of the four fundamental forces also having the shortest range, this attractive force holds the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom together.
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