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Nuclear Reactions (Grades 11-12)

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Nuclear Reactions

Instructions: Read each question carefully. Choose the answer that best fits the question. If the question involves any computation, you must show all your calculations.

When Uranium-235 is bombarded by neutrons with enough energy, the nucleus breaks apart into two smaller nuclei, two neutrons, and energy, resulting in a nuclear                 .
  1. decay reaction
  2. fission reaction
  3. fusion reaction
  4. transmutation
Compare and contrast a nuclear reaction to a chemical reaction. Be sure to include a discussion about what changes, as well as, what results in each type of reaction.

When a physicist bombards a nucleus with another nuclear particle in a laboratory setting, the first nucleus becomes unstable, and nuclear disintegration occurs. This type of nuclear reaction is called                                                  .
  1. spontaneous decay
  2. nuclear fission
  3. nuclear fusion
  4. artificial transmutation
What is the type and the unknown product of the following nuclear reaction equation?

  1. fusion; proton
  2. fusion; neutron
  3. fission; neutron
  4. fusion; two neutrons
A small nuclear power plant has a set of fuel rods with a mass of 50kg. After some nuclear reactions occur, the new mass of the fuel rods is 49.3kg. How much energy did the fuel rods release?

Given: [math]E=mc^2[/math], where [math]c=3xx10^8m/s[/math]

Einstein's mass-energy equivalence theory supports understanding of which type of nuclear reaction?
  1. spontaneous decay
  2. nuclear fission
  3. nuclear fusion
  4. transmutation
The two fundamental rules can be used to determine the unknown element in a nuclear reaction equation. One rule comes from the Law of Conservation of Mass, or the mass balance rule, which tells us that the total mass of the reactants must equal that of the products in the reaction. The other rule,                                                               , tells us that the number of                                 of the reactants and products must also be equal.
  1. neutron balance rule; neutrons
  2. isotopic balance rule; isotopes
  3. charge balance rule; protons
  4. decay balance rule: charges
Three types of natural nuclear reactions exist, radioactive decay, nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion. How is radioactive decay different from fission and fusion?
  1. Radioactive decay breaks apart large nuclei.
  2. Radioactive decay happens spontaneously.
  3. Radioactive decay combines different isotopes.
  4. Radioactive decay is not different from fission or fusion.
During a nuclear fission reaction, if there are many atoms of the isotope nearby, the two ejected neutrons can initiate two new fission reactions that eject four neutrons, which can then initiate four new fission reactions, etc. This continuous nuclear energy production is called a                                   .
Because of the large amount of energy released by this type of nuclear reaction, it is considered a promising energy source to explore, opening up new job opportunities for the future.
  1. nuclear fission
  2. nuclear fusion
  3. transmutation
  4. spontaneous decay

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