This makes the already slightly unstable heavy atom even more unstable, which causes it to split into smaller atoms and possibly eject a few neutrons.
This releases a lot of energy because the original atom was so unstable.
Usually the 'pieces' are smaller atoms, but often neutrons are also released.
Many fission reactions are initiated by a very heavy atom being hit (or, in chemistry lingo, bombarded) by a neutron.
Keep in mind that during this process, not all of the mass is conserved.
The 'heavier' atom that is produced is actually lighter than the two individual pieces, which means that mass is lost.
Fossil fuels are really just dead organisms that once used the sun for energy and that have been under a great deal of pressure by being buried under rocks.
In a way, we are able to use some of the energy from fusion reactions.Nuclear chemistry is a field of chemistry that deals with the use of radioactive isotopes and other nuclear reactions.Nuclear reactions provide us with enormous amounts of energy.Try It risk-free What can the sun do that we can't? Are radioactive isotopes helpful in the medical field?The answers to these questions can be found in this lesson on the applications of nuclear chemistry.Now, carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5,730 years, so every 5,730 years, half of it is going to decay into nitrogen.