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Name: Kerstin B.
Status: student
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001-2002


Question:
How do scientists contain the explosion when splitting atoms?


Replies:
In scientific studies there is no "explosion" per se, as occurs in a bomb. There is the creation of numerous atoms and sub-atomic particles and energetic electromagnetic radiation (e.g. X-rays to name just one). These are contained by shielding -- that absorb these particles. The substances used as shields depends upon what fission products are. Lead, water and other materials are typical shield materials. The heat that is generated is absorbed by the shields that may/or may not connected to a heat exchanger.

Vince Calder


The fission reaction releases a lot of energy, which is absorbed by the matter in the area (air, the device, surrounding earth). This causes the absorbing toms and molecules to move very fast and collide with nearby atoms and molecules. The end result is a great increase in temperature and a tremendous expansion, which is an explosion.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois



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