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Chain reaction
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There is an excess of one neutron produced per fragment.  These neutrons can induce further fissions, which means that the process can be self-sustaining in a chain reaction.

Have a go!
Use this simulation to explore the chain reaction process.  

  • Adjust the simulation speed with the slider bar.
  • Use the drop-down menu to select the number of starting nuclei.
  • Click on the checkbox for a higher contrast between 'heavy' nuclei and the fragments.
  • Click the button to restart the simulation.
Heavy nucleus
OR Fragmented nucleus
Neutron
 

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1999, 2000 The University of Liverpool, Department of Physics

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