Segment C: Fusion
Segment C: Fusion
We explore how and why fusion occurs between atoms, what products result from this type of reaction, and how stars use this process to create energy and the atoms of which we are made.
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 fusion and explain when nuclear fusion occurs.
-Explain why energy is released when light nuclei come together to form heavier nuclei, and how the mass of the individual particles are more than the total mass of the nucleus after nuclear fusion occurs.
-Discuss how the sun is powered by the fusion of hydrogen into helium and explore how the atoms that make us up were created inside of stars.
binding energy (E) - the amount of energy used to keep a nucleus together; equal to the mass defect times the speed of light, squared.
fusion - when two light atomic nuclei come together, or fuse, to form a heavier nucleus, 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.
proton-proton fusion - the multistep nuclear fusion process by which hydrogen fuses with hydrogen to form helium.
radioactive decay - the spontaneous emission of charged particles and/or energy from an atom.
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