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During the research that led to production of the two atomic bombs used against Japan in World War II, different mechanisms for obtaining a supercritical mass of fissionable material were investigated. In one type of bomb, a “gun” shot one piece of fissionable material into a cavity containing another piece of fissionable material. In the second type of bomb, the fissionable material was surrounded with a high explosive that, when detonated, compressed the fissionable material into a smaller volume. Discuss what is meant by critical mass, and explain why the ability to achieve a critical mass is essential to sustaining a nuclear reaction.

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Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

2nd Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305079243

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Chapter
Section
BuyFindarrow_forward

Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

2nd Edition
Steven S. Zumdahl + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305079243
Chapter 18, Problem 68AE
Textbook Problem
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During the research that led to production of the two atomic bombs used against Japan in World War II, different mechanisms for obtaining a supercritical mass of fissionable material were investigated. In one type of bomb, a “gun” shot one piece of fissionable material into a cavity containing another piece of fissionable material. In the second type of bomb, the fissionable material was surrounded with a high explosive that, when detonated, compressed the fissionable material into a smaller volume. Discuss what is meant by critical mass, and explain why the ability to achieve a critical mass is essential to sustaining a nuclear reaction.

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The meaning of the term “critical mass” and the necessity to achieve a critical mass for sustaining a nuclear reaction is to be explained.

Concept introduction: Critical mass is the minimum amount of fissile material required for sustaining nuclear reactions. During the World War 2, different mechanisms were investigated for obtaining a supercritical mass of fissionable material.

To determine: The meaning of the term “critical mass” and the necessity to achieve a critical mass for sustaining a nuclear reaction.

Explanation of Solution

Explanation

Critical mass is the minimum amount of fissile material required for sustaining nuclear reactions.

Neutrons are produced throughout the body of fissile material but it escapes only through through the surface of fissile material...

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Chapter 18 Solutions

Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach
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