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8Sci CH18

8th Science CH18 Fission and Fusion

artificial transmutation transmutation that does not happen spontaneously; scientists have forced nuclei to transmute by using particle accelerators, with the result that gaps in the periodic table have been filled and more than a dozen nw radioactive elements have been created
chain reaction reaction that can start if the neutrons freed by the split of one heavy nucleus into two lighter nuclei cause fission in other nuclei;in nuclear reactors, neutron-absorbing materials can be used so that fission chain reactions do not go out of control
fission nuclear reaction in which a large nucleus is split and energy is released; nuclear reactors produce electrical energy from a controlled fission chain reaction
fusion joining of smaller nuclei into larger ones; fusion of hydrogen into helium releases vast amounts of energy and is the energy powering the stars, including the sun; nuclear fusion is common in nature but not on Earth
transmutation occurs when an atom of one element changes to an atom of another element by spontaneously emitting a particle, or by decaying--which changes its number of protons and its atomic number