# Producing and Balancing Nuclear Equations for Nuclear Fission and Fusion

## Producing and Balancing Nuclear Equations for Nuclear Fission and Fusion

Producing and Balancing Nuclear Equations

# Understanding Nuclear Equations

• Nuclear equations represent nuclear reactions, displaying the particles involved in the reaction.
• They show the balance of atomic and mass numbers before and after the reactions.

# Fission Reaction

• In nuclear fission, a heavy nucleus splits into two smaller ones, often releasing free neutrons and energy.
• For instance, in the fission of Uranium-235, the nucleus absorbs a neutron and splits into Barium-141 and Krypton-92, releasing three additional neutrons.
• U^235 + n -> Ba^141 + Kr^92 + 3n
• The atomic numbers (bottom numbers) on both sides of the equation add up (92 for Uranium + 0 for the neutron = 56 for Barium + 36 for Krypton), as do the mass numbers (top numbers).

# Fusion Reaction

• In nuclear fusion, light atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, with the release of energy.
• It’s the reaction that powers the Sun, where hydrogen nuclei fuse to form helium:
• 1H^2 + 1H^2 -> 2He^4 + energy
• In this equation, both atomic and mass numbers are again balanced (1+1=2 for atomic numbers, 2+2=4 for mass numbers).

# Balancing Nuclear Equations

• To balance a nuclear equation:
• Make sure the sum of atomic numbers (proton numbers) is the same on both sides of the equation. This is due to the conservation of charge.
• Ensure the sum of mass numbers (protons + neutrons) is also the same on both sides. This is because of the law of conservation of mass.

# Importance of Balancing Equations

• Balanced nuclear equations give a clear visual representation of what occurs during a nuclear reaction.
• They show the conservation of mass and charge.
• These practises help with the understanding of both the theory and practical applications of nuclear physics.