Nuclear Weapons and Their Linkage with Physics

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Nuclear Weapons and their Linkage with Physics The functioning of nuclear weapons requires understanding the underlying physics beginning with the structure of the atom. The nucleus of the atom consists of electrically neutral particles called neutrons and positively charged particles called protons. The no. of protons equals the no. of electrons rendering the atom electrically neutral. The nucleus of the radioactive particle U-235 has 92 protons and 143 neutrons and heavier atoms have larger excess of neutron over protons compared to lighter ones. The protons and neutrons in the nuclei are composed together through powerful nuclear forces that are stronger compared to any other force which act between them like gravity. Atoms are bound together to form molecules. These atoms are composed together by chemical bonding that form due to the manner in which electrons rearrange themselves within the molecule. This binding energy of a nucleus is almost million times higher than this energy. (Philips, 2012) Nuclear reactions happen when there is a rearrangement of the neutrons and protons of the reacting nuclei to form the product nuclei. When the bonding energy of the reactants is less compared to the binding energy of the products, the excess energy is thus released in the form of radiation. As the bonding energy of nuclei is nearly a million times greater compared to the energy consumed by a chemical bond, the energy released in nuclear reactions corresponds to about a
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