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Name: jamie
Status: student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 


Question:
What is the difference between a nuclear reactor and a nuclear bomb? Also what are some radioactive detectors? Thank you


Replies:
A nuclear reactor is controlled through moderators such as graphite which absorb neutrons. This is a controlled chain reaction, placing the moderators further into the nuclear pile slows the reaction. A nuclear bomb is not controlled.

Radiation Detectors count various types of disintegrations or types of radiation. The Geiger counter is perhaps the most known which counts events per unit time. Other times of radiation detectors are X-ray, Gamma ray and even cosmic ray detectors.



Dr. Myron


The basic difference is that in a nuclear reactor, the nuclear chain reaction is kept at a level to be just barely self-sustaining. In a bomb, the chain reaction accelerates madly until the energy produces causes the assembly to fly apart. The distinction is exactly analogous to the difference between gasoline burning in a car engine and a molotov cocktail.

As for radiation detectors, that's not my area of expertise, so I don't know.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.



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