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Quantum Physics Lesson 2.1 - The Development of the Atomic Bomb

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Luke Bohni

on 21 May 2013

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Transcript of Quantum Physics Lesson 2.1 - The Development of the Atomic Bomb

Lesson 2.1 The Development of the Atomic Bomb Where does all this energy come from? Fission Nuclear Fission is the process of splitting a large atomic nucleus into smaller parts When Fission occurs, the mass of all of the parts from the split nuclei weigh slightly less than the mass of the original nucleus The missing mass is converted into energy using the infamous equation But exactly how much energy is this? If we converted 1kg of matter into energy... E=(1kg) x (300,000,000 m/s) 2 E = 90,000,000,000,000,000 J That is enough energy to sustain a city of over 1 million people for two months luckily nuclear explosions don't convert this much matter into energy When the nucleus splits, more neutrons are emitted which can then go on to hit other nuclei. this is known as a Chain Reaction But this only works if you have enough other nuclei nearby to split. The amount of mass necessary to sustain a Fission Reaction is known as critical mass Fusion Unlike Fission, Fusion involves the combining of two smaller nuclei into one larger one. Unfortunately, unlike fission, fusion requires a large amount of energy to initiate in the first place which is why there are not many fusion reactors around. One currently in the process of being built however is the ITER (international thermonuclear experimental reactor) project in the South of France which aims to produce 20 times the energy required to operate it. The Hydrogen Bomb The most common form of nuclear weapon these days makes use of both fission and fusion to work.
The H-Bomb uses a 2 stage process to explode. The first stage involves a fission explosion that then compresses the second stage allowing it to undergo fusion.
Needless to say, the energy released from this sort of bomb is massive. 2 Photons and a Gluon Last term we had 2 stars and a black hole, this term we've decided to go with something a bit more particle-physicsy.
On the rafl under week 2 you will find two statements that we want you to respond to. We want you to write down:
2 pros of Nuclear Fission Reactors and 1 con?
2 pros of Nuclear Fusion Reactors and 1 con?
Activity! We are now going to break you up into groups to brainstorm what you think the benefits and weaknesses are of Fission and Fusion Reactors. We want you to use the wallwisher app which we will provide you with the link to and Ms Pizzol and Mr Bohni will be dropping in and out of your groups to listen to your discussions. Good Luck!
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