‚óŹUnderstanding the Mechanism of Nuclear Fission
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Atom: the smallest unit of matter

Nuclear fission
  1. When a neutron strikes a nucleus at the center of a uranium atom, the nucleus shakes violently, constricts, then divides.
  2. When the nucleus divides, neutrons are emitted with great energy.
  3. When the neutron flies off, it strikes other nuclei.
  4. 1., 2., and 3. are repeated.
As the fission splits many atoms each instant, it releases a tremendous amount of energy. The atomic bomb turns this energy into a weapon.