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Single fission of uranium nucleus

Single fission of uranium nucleus

A132/0010

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cloud chamber photograph of a single fission of a uranium nucleus - the basic process responsible for atomic energy. Invisible neutrons enter the cloud chamber & knock on protons & other nuclei, creating short tracks. But one neutron has induced fission in a nucleus of the uranium coating a thin gold foil in the centre of the chamber. The two fission fragments shoot off sideways, creating long tracks with short branches near the end which are due to nuclei of the gas in the cloud chamber being knocked aside by the fission fragments. The fission has also released two neutrons (not visible), which are available to produce further fissions, thus making possible a chain reaction.

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