4.4.4.1

4.4.4.1 Nuclear fission (Physics Only)

4.4.4.1 Nuclear fission (Physics Only)

Content

Nuclear fission is the splitting of a large and unstable nucleus (eg uranium or plutonium).

Spontaneous fission is rare. Usually, for fission to occur the unstable nucleus must first absorb a neutron.

The nucleus undergoing fission splits into two smaller nuclei, roughly equal in size, and emits two or three neutrons plus gamma rays. Energy is released by the fission reaction.

All of the fission products have kinetic energy. The neutrons may go on to start a chain reaction.

The chain reaction is controlled in a nuclear reactor to control the energy released. The explosion caused by a nuclear weapon is caused by an uncontrolled chain reaction.

Students should be able to draw/interpret diagrams representing nuclear fission and how a chain reaction may occur.

Resources

Video

Practicals

Practical

Demo:

Safety

Asthma attack risk for selected student?

Radioactive Boy Scout - How Teen David Hahn Built a Nuclear Reactor.mp4
Watch in 360 the inside of a nuclear reactor from the size of an atom with virtual reality.mp4
videoplayback.mp4