Usage of energy in nuclear fission and fusion
I read in a biographic book about Albert Einstein that the energy produced from burning materials is much less than the energy stored in them (the authored suggested the book itself as an example – he wrote that it can power a ship for about 100 years).
I would like to know how much of the energy of a material is used in nuclear fission and fusion.
Energy obtained by burning a substance is meagre compared to the energy contained in it. According to Einstein’s mass energy relation (E=mc2), the energy released by converting 1 gram of any substance completely into energy = 0.001 (mass) x 300,000,000 x 3,00,000,000 (square of velocity of light).
But, in nuclear reactions, the entire mass is not converted into energy. The tremendous energy liberated during a nuclear explosion is the result of a small portion of the mass of nucleus undergoing the reaction getting converted into energy.
For example, when a uranium 235 atom undergoes nuclear fission the enrgy liberated is 200 MeV = 200 x 1.6 x 10 -19 J
In 235 g of U-235 there are 6 x 1023 atoms.
So if that much of U-235 atoms undergo fission, the energy liberated will be about 1,00,00,000 J.
Hope that you might have had an idea of it.