What is Fusion?

In nuclear science and engineering, there are two primary forms of reactions. These two types are fission and fusion. Fission is the more commonly known reaction in which a heavy nuclei is impacted by a neutron, causing it to split into smaller nuclei. The ‘splitting of the atom’ releases a notable amount of energy. Fusion, on the other hand, is when

“two light nuclei merge to form a single heavier nucleus. The process releases energy because the total mass of the resulting single nucleus is less than the mass of the two original nuclei.”

– Matthew Lanctot, Department of Energy

Fission vs. Fusion

Fusion reaction using Deuterium and Tritium


Lanctot, Matthew. “Doe Explains…Nuclear Fusion Reactions.” Energy.Gov, www.energy.gov/science/doe-explainsnuclear-fusion-reactions#:~:text=In%20a%20fusion%20reaction%2C%20two,The%20leftover%20mass%20becomes%20energy. Accessed 22 May 2023.

Office of Nuclear Energy. “Fission and Fusion: What Is the Difference?” Energy.Gov, 1 Apr. 2021, www.energy.gov/ne/articles/fission-and-fusion-what-difference#:~:text=Fission%20occurs%20when%20a%20neutron,amount%20of%20energy%20is%20released.

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