Worksheet: Nuclear Fission and Fusion

In this worksheet, we will practice differentiating between nuclear fusion and fission reactions and writing balanced nuclear equations for both processes.


A nuclear reaction is described by the equation shown. 1023592923610n+UKr+X+3n

Identify particle X.

  • A14156Ba
  • B14054Xe
  • C14154Xe
  • D14356Ba
  • E14355Cs


Which of the following statements is true?

  • ABinding energy per nucleon decreases in nuclear fusion.
  • BNuclear fission is endothermic.
  • CNeutrons can be released in both nuclear fusion and nuclear fission.
  • DNeutron bombardment is needed for nuclear fission to occur.
  • EThe principal nuclear reaction in the sun involves 𝛽 emission.


Why is a high temperature required for nuclear fusion?

  • AFusing nuclei must have enough kinetic energy to drive the conversion of protons to neutrons.
  • BFusing nuclei must have enough kinetic energy to overcome the repulsion between their positive charges.
  • CFusing nuclei must have enough kinetic energy to enter excited states before the collision.
  • DThe kinetic energy of fusing nuclei must be greater than the increase in binding energy.
  • EFusing nuclei must have enough kinetic energy to overcome the strong nuclear force between nucleons.


Which of the following could be increased to increase the critical mass of a fissile material?

  • ASample purity
  • BSample volume/area ratio
  • CSample density
  • DTemperature
  • ENeutron yield


Nuclear fission is usually followed by a series of 𝛽 decays. How do these decays stabilize the smaller nuclei?

  • AThe atomic mass increases.
  • BThe nuclear charge increases.
  • CThe neutron/proton ratio decreases.
  • DThe atomic mass decreases.
  • EThe proton/neutron ratio decreases.


In a nuclear reaction, an atom of 21H collides with an atom of 63Li. Which of the following are not potential products of this reaction?

  • A324210He+4He+n
  • B7311Li+H
  • C322111He+2H+H
  • D2He42
  • E7410Be+n

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