During the research that led to production of the two atomic bombs used against Japan in World War II, differ ent mechanisms for obtaining a supercritical mass of fissionable material were investigated. In one type of bomb, a “gun” shot one piece of fissionable material into a cavin’ containing another piece of fissionable material. In the second type of bomb, the fissionable material was surrounded with a high explosive that, when detonated, compressed the fissionable material into a smaller volume. Discuss what is meant by critical mass, and explain why the ability to achieve a critical mass is essential to sustaining a nuclear reaction.
Answer to relevant QuestionsThere is a trend in the United States toward using coal-fired power plants to generate electricity rather than building new nuclear fission power plants. Is the use of coal-fired power plants without risk? Make a list of the ...Consider the following information: i. The layer of dead skin on our bodies is sufficient to protect us from most α-particle radiation. ii. Plutonium is an α-particle producer. iii. The chemistry of Pu4+ is similar to that ...Define “third-life” in a similar way to “half-life,” and determine the “third-life” for a nuclide that has a half-life of 31.4 years. Zirconium is one of the few metals that retains its structural integrity upon exposure to radiation. The fuel rods in most nuclear reactors therefore are often made of zirconium. Answer the following questions about the ...Name each of the following. a. b. c. d.
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