Atomic Fission

There are 2 types of atomic explosions that can be facilitated by U-235; fission and fusion. Fission, simply put, is a nuclear reaction in which an atomic nucleus splits into fragments, usually two fragments of comparable mass, with the evolution of approximately 100 million to several hundred million volts of energy. This energy is expelled explosively and violently in the atomic bomb. A fusion reaction is invariably started with a fission reaction, but unlike the fission reaction, the fusion (Hydrogen) bomb derives its power from the fusing of nuclei of various hydrogen isotopes in the formation of helium nuclei. Being that the bomb in this file is strictly atomic, the other aspects of the Hydrogen Bomb will be set aside for now.

The massive power behind the reaction in an atomic bomb arises from the forces that hold the atom together. These forces are akin to, but not quite the same as, magnetism.

Atoms are comprised of three sub-atomic particles. Protons and neutrons cluster together to form the nucleus (central mass) of the atom while the electrons orbit the nucleus much like planets around a sun. It is these particles that determine the stability of the atom.

Most natural elements have very stable atoms which are impossible to split except by bombardment by particle accelerators. For all practical purposes, the one true element whose atoms can be split comparatively easily is the metal Uranium. Uranium's atoms are unusually large, henceforth, it is hard for them to hold together firmly. This makes Uranium-235 an exceptional candidate for nuclear fission.

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