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Fission on a Friday – 10 facts

It’s been a long time since I did a “10 facts” blog post (last one was about heavy water) - too long, I think, so it’s about time I do it again now 😉
I can’t promise there’ll one every week (I’ve tried those every week kind of blog posts before, and there’s always some reason - like my PhD work - why it’s difficult to see it through ), but it would have been fun if 10 facts could be like a Friday thing. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes, but today is Fission Friday; here are ten facts about fission:
  1. fission is when a (heavy) nucleus splits into two (lighter) nuclei
  2. an example of fission is when uranium-235 is hit by one neutron and becomes barium-144, krypton-90, and 2 free neutrons (same number of particles before and after fission: 1+235 = 144+90+2 = 236 :D)
  3. the light nuclei (like barium and krypton) are called fission products
  4. fission can be induced, which means that it happens because a neutron hits the nucleus (like in the picture) - a little bit like the neutron is a knife that cuts the nucleus into two pieces <3
  5. fission can be spontaneous, which means it just happens - no neutron or other particle hitting the nucleus - the nucleus just suddenly splits
  6. fission is my favourite decay mode (I think) <3<3<3
  7. a nucleus that will fission when it’s hit by a neutron is called (a) fissile (nucleus)
  8. the energy that is released in fission (when one nucleus splits) is 200 mega electron volts - which is the same as if 50 million carbon atoms burns and produces CO2 (yes, 1 versus 50 million to get the same amount of energy!)
  9. most of the energy released in fission comes from kineticc energy of the fission products - which is energy from motion of the fission products (they are moving fast away from each other)
  10. I think the energy release in fission is really really fascinating
If you think it's a good idea to do more "10 facts" blog posts, please tell me what you what you want to read about <3

Ok, I gotta run now, to catch my flight back to Oslo - since I've been giving a talk about motivation for science in Bodø today. If you follow me on Snapchat (sunnivarose), you can see the super cool LEGO rose i got after the talk (the talk was for First Lego League, so it was 100% right to get a rose made out of LEGO :D).

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