NEET: Nuclear Reaction and Atomic Energy

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 128K)

Nuclear Reaction

  • A nuclear reaction is one in which a nucleus bombarded with an elementary particle (like neutron, proton, etc.) or with another nucleus to produce other products in a very short time span.

  • The First nuclear reaction was discovered by Rutherford in 1919, when he bombarded nitrogen with alpha particles.

Nuclear Fission

  • Nuclear fission is the fragmentation of a large nucleus into two smaller nuclei and the liberation large amount of energy.

  • In 1939 the German scientists Otto Hahn and F Steersman observed that when uranium was bombarded with slow neutrons, then two smaller products were obtained with a tremendous amount of heat.

  • The splitting of uranium was called nuclear fission.

Types of Nuclear Fission

  • Controlled nuclear fission Carried out in nuclear reactors in which rate of fission reaction is reduced and energy produced can be used for constructive purposes.

  • Uncontrolled nuclear fission In an atom bomb uncontrolled fission takes place. A very large amount of heat is produced and the process continues until the entire amount of fissionable material is exhausted.

First Atom Bomb

  • On August 6, 1945, an atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima city in Japan.

  • The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, another city of Japan on August 9, 1945. The bomb was made of plutonium - 239.

Nuclear Fusion

  • It is nuclear reaction in which lighter nuclei fuse to form a nucleus of greater mass.

  • In this reaction also an enormous amount of heat is produced.

  • By carrying on nuclear fusion under controlled conditions, the large amount of energy could be made available for useful purpose.

Atomic Energy (Nuclear Energy)

  • Energy produced by nuclear fission or nuclear fusion is called nuclear energy or atomic energy.

  • In nuclear reactions there is loss of mass. This mass is converted into energy. It can be transformed into electrical and mechanical energy which can be used for various peaceful purposes.

Discussions & Questions