Neutron-induced fission

The three sections in this simulation allow students to (a) see how neutron-induced fission occurs in a Uranium-235 nucleus, (b) see how a chain reaction can be established when molecules of U-235 are located near each other, and (c) see how fuel rods containing U-235 in a nuclear reactor can be arranged so as to sustain a nuclear fission chain reaction. Students are asked to compare and contrast nuclear fission and fusion. To do so, they must have an accurate model on the atomic level for both processes. This simulation focuses on fission, and clearly depicts what happens to a U-235 nucleus during neutron-induced nuclear fission. The first section of the simulation has a superimposed energy graph that depicts the U-235 nucleus in a potential energy u201cwellu201d prior to absorbing a neutron. Acquiring the additional neutron produces U-236, which is less stable than U-236 and thus undergoes fission. The superimposed graph allows the student to see that the destabilization of the nucleus results in the increase in its energy content, which is why fission of U-235 occurs primarily only after neutron absorption. The other two sections of the simulation allow students to experiment with the chain reactions that make nuclear fission useful and, if not controlled, dangerous.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of...
CLE 3001.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3001.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3001.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3001.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3001.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3002.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
CLE 3002.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
CLE 3002.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
CLE 3002.4.4
Write an extended research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
CLE 3002.4.5
Use a standard format to arrange text, to cite sources correctly, and to document quotations, paraphrases, and other information.
CLE 3231.6.4
Compare and contrast nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.
SPI 3001.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3001.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
SPI 3002.4.4
Evaluate the validity of Web pages as sources of information.
SPI 3002.4.6
Identify information that must be cited or attributed within a writing sample.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RI.KID.2
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development; provide an objective or critical summary.
TSS.ELA.9-10.RL.KID.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development; provide an objective or critical summary.
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.7
Conduct and write short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem by...
TSS.ELA.9-10.W.RBPK.8
Use multiple search terms to generate a variety of print and digital sources; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of...
 
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Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding

References

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