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"Time is a great healer, death is a better one " - DEBJIT

Nuclear Chain Reaction

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:19 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.2 
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The scientist Albert Einstein did not participate in the invention of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy. But he was the key to unlocking the development of nuclear energy and atomic bomb. In 1905, as part of his Special Theory of Relativity, he made a point that a large amount of energy could be released from a small amount of matter. This was development of the equation E=mc2 (energy = mass times the speed of light squared). The atomic bomb would clearly this equation worked. But Einstein wasn’t thinking of nuclear bombs when he thought up E=mc2.     A nuclear chain reaction is basically a chain reaction of atoms and neutrons, when they bump they split into more, therefore it gets bigger and bigger with every split.   Atoms consist of small dense positively charged cores called the nucleus, which is surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is made up of electrically neutral particles called neutrons and positively charged particles called protons. The number of protons in the nucleus is equal to the number of electrons, making the atom electrically neutral. The protons and neutrons in nuclei are held together by strong nuclear forces.                                                       In a nuclear fission reactor in a power plant, the radioactive element Uranium is used in a chain reaction. The fission of Uranium splits off two neutrons, which in turn hits two Uranium atoms. Two neutrons are split from each of the two Uranium atoms. Each of these neutrons then go on to hit another Uranium atom. Each of those atoms is split releasing two neutrons, which go on and hit more Uranium atoms. The chain reaction continues on and on, getting bigger and bigger with each split. The things that slow down a chain reaction are the control rods. A control rod is made up of cadmium or boron, which absorb neutrons. If you insert the control rod between the uranium atoms, the amount of neutrons available to cause more splits is reduced.       In my project I...


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