Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074



Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074
Textbook Problem

Chain reactions occur in a series of steps described as initiation, propagation, and termination. Describe each of these steps for the fission of uranium-235.

Interpretation Introduction


The series of steps in which chain reactions occurs has to be explained.

Concept Introduction:

  • Chain reactions are very rapid but are highly sensitive to reaction conditions probably because the substances that sustain the reaction are easily affected by substances other than the reactants themselves.
  • The chain length in a chain reaction is defined as the number of propagation steps per initiation step

An important aspect of fission reactions is that they produce more neutrons and are used to initiate the process. These neutrons are served to continue the reaction. If one or more of these neutrons is captured by other U-235 nucleus, a further reaction can occur, releasing more neutrons this sequence repeat over and over. Such a mechanism, in which each step generates a reactant to continue the reaction, is called a chain reaction.

A nuclear fission chain reaction has three general steps.

Initiation: The reaction of a single atom is needed to start the chain...

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