The fusion of lighter elements in stars releases energy and the mass that always accompanies it. For example, in the fusion of two hydrogen nuclei to form helium, 0.645% of the mass is carried away in the form of kinetic energy of an alpha particle or other forms of energy, such as electromagnetic radiation.
What is released when nuclear fusion happens?
Fusion powers the Sun and stars as hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium, and matter is converted into energy. Hydrogen, heated to very high temperatures changes from a gas to a plasma in which the negatively-charged electrons are separated from the positively-charged atomic nuclei (ions).
Why does the energy is released during the nuclear fusion process?
Fusion on the other hand, is the process of sticking together light nuclei (typically hydrogen -like nuclei). The larger nuclei again needs less energy to hold it together – so energy is released. … Light elements, such as hydrogen and helium, have small nuclei that release lots of energy when they fuse together.
What happens to energy in nuclear fusion?
It gets squeeze together so tightly that four hydrogen nuclei combine to form one helium atom. This is called nuclear fusion. In the process some of the mass of the hydrogen atoms is converted into energy in the form of light. The same process occurs in thermonuclear (fusion) bombs.
Can fusion reactors explode?
Can fusion cause a nuclear accident? No, because fusion energy production is not based on a chain reaction, as is fission. Plasma must be kept at very high temperatures with the support of external heating systems and confined by an external magnetic field.
Is nuclear fusion difficult to control?
Fusion, on the other hand, is very difficult. Instead of shooting a neutron at an atom to start the process, you have to get two positively charged nuclei close enough together to get them to fuse. … This is why fusion is difficult and fission is relatively simple (but still actually difficult).