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Conceptual questions

Explain the difference between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.

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Why does the fusion of light nuclei into heavier nuclei release energy?

The nuclei produced in the fusion process have a larger binding energy per nucleon than the nuclei that are fused. That is, nuclear fusion decreases average energy of the nucleons in the system. The energy difference is carried away as radiation.

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Problems

Verify that the total number of nucleons, and total charge are conserved for each of the following fusion reactions in the proton-proton chain.

(i) 1 H + 1 H 2 H + e + + v e ,

(ii) 1 H + 2 H 3 H e + γ , and (iii) 3 H e + 3 H e 4 H e + 1 H + 1 H .

(List the value of each of the conserved quantities before and after each of the reactions.)

i. 1 1 H + 1 1 H 1 2 H + e + + v e A i = 1 + 1 = 2 ; A f = 2 Z i = 1 + 1 = 2 Z f = 1 + 1 = 2 ;
ii. 1 1 H + 1 2 H 2 3 H + γ A i = 1 + 2 = 3 ; A f = 3 + 0 = 3 Z i = 1 + 1 = 2 Z E = 1 + 1 = 2 ;
iii. 2 3 H + 2 3 H 2 4 H + 1 1 H + 1 1 H A i = 3 + 3 = 6 ; A f = 4 + 1 + 1 = 6 Z i = 2 + 2 = 4 Z f = 2 + 1 + 1 = 4

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Calculate the energy output in each of the fusion reactions in the proton-proton chain, and verify the values determined in the preceding problem.

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Show that the total energy released in the proton-proton chain is 26.7 MeV, considering the overall effect in 1 H + 1 H 2 H + e + + v e , 1 H + 2 H 3 H e + γ , and 3 H e + 3 H e 4 H e + 1 H + 1 H . Be sure to include the annihilation energy.

26.73 MeV

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Two fusion reactions mentioned in the text are n + 3 H e 4 H e + γ and n + 1 H 2 H + γ . Both reactions release energy, but the second also creates more fuel. Confirm that the energies produced in the reactions are 20.58 and 2.22 MeV, respectively. Comment on which product nuclide is most tightly bound, 4 H e or 2 H .

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The power output of the Sun is 4 × 10 26 W . (a) If 90 % of this energy is supplied by the proton-proton chain, how many protons are consumed per second? (b) How many neutrinos per second should there be per square meter at the surface of Earth from this process?

a. 3 × 10 38 protons/s ; b. 6 × 10 14 neutrinos/m 2 · s ;
This huge number is indicative of how rarely a neutrino interacts, since large detectors observe very few per day.

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Another set of reactions that fuses hydrogen into helium in the Sun and especially in hotter stars is called the CNO cycle:

12 C + 1 H 13 N + γ

13 N 13 C + e + + v e

13 C + 1 H 14 N + γ

14 N + 1 H 15 O + γ

15 O 15 N + e + + v e

15 N + 1 H 12 C + 4 H e

This process is a “cycle” because 12 C appears at the beginning and end of these reactions. Write down the overall effect of this cycle (as done for the proton-proton chain in 2 e + 4 1 H 4 H e + 2 v e + 6 γ ). Assume that the positrons annihilate electrons to form more γ rays.

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(a) Calculate the energy released by the fusion of a 1.00-kg mixture of deuterium and tritium, which produces helium. There are equal numbers of deuterium and tritium nuclei in the mixture.

(b) If this process takes place continuously over a period of a year, what is the average power output?

a. The atomic mass of deuterium ( 2 H ) is 2.014102 u, while that of tritium ( 3 H ) is 3.016049 u, for a total of 5.032151 u per reaction. So a mole of reactants has a mass of 5.03 g, and in 1.00 kg, there are ( 1000 g ) / ( 5.03 g / mol ) = 198.8 mol of reactants. The number of reactions that take place is therefore
( 198.8 mol ) ( 6.02 × 10 23 mol −1 ) = 1.20 × 10 26 reactions .
The total energy output is the number of reactions times the energy per reaction:
E = 3.37 × 10 14 J;
b. Power is energy per unit time. One year has 3.16 × 10 7 s , so
P = 10.7 MW .
We expect nuclear processes to yield large amounts of energy, and this is certainly the case here. The energy output of 3.37 × 10 14 J from fusing 1.00 kg of deuterium and tritium is equivalent to 2.6 million gallons of gasoline and about eight times the energy output of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Yet the average backyard swimming pool has about 6 kg of deuterium in it, so that fuel is plentiful if it can be utilized in a controlled manner.

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Questions & Answers

as a free falling object increases speed what is happening to the acceleration
Success Reply
of course g is constant
Alwielland
acceleration also inc
Usman
photo electrons doesn't emmit when electrons are free to move on surface of metal why?
Rafi Reply
What would be the minimum work function of a metal have to be for visible light(400-700)nm to ejected photoelectrons?
Mohammed Reply
give any fix value to wave length
Rafi
40 cm into change mm
Arhaan Reply
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. that cap(^) I have used above is to the power.
Prema
i.e. 10to the power -2 in the first line and 10 to the power -3 in the the second line.
Prema
there is mistake in my first msg correction is 40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. sorry for the mistake friends.
Prema
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm.
Prema
this msg is out of mistake. sorry friends​.
Prema
what is physics?
sisay Reply
why we have physics
Anil Reply
because is the study of mater and natural world
John
because physics is nature. it explains the laws of nature. some laws already discovered. some laws yet to be discovered.
Yoblaze
is this a physics forum
Physics Reply
explain l-s coupling
Depk Reply
how can we say dirac equation is also called a relativistic equation in one word
preeti Reply
what is the electronic configration of Al
usman Reply
what's the signeficance of dirac equetion.?
Sibghat Reply
what is the effect of heat on refractive index
Nepal Reply
As refractive index depend on other factors also but if we supply heat on any system or media its refractive index decrease. i.e. it is inversely proportional to the heat.
ganesh
you are correct
Priyojit
law of multiple
Wahid
if we heated the ice then the refractive index be change from natural water
Nepal
can someone explain normalization condition
Priyojit Reply
please tell
Swati
yes
Chemist
1 millimeter is How many metres
Darling Reply
1millimeter =0.001metre
Gitanjali
The photoelectric effect is the emission of electrons when light shines on a material. 
Chris Reply
Practice Key Terms 4

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 3. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12067/1.4
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