Huizenga, John R. Formerly, Department of Chemistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.
- Liquid-drop model
- Shell corrections
- Double-humped barrier
- Experimental consequences
- Fission probability
- Postscission phenomena
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An extremely complex nuclear reaction representing a cataclysmic division of an atomic nucleus into two nuclei of comparable mass. This rearrangement or division of a heavy nucleus may take place naturally (spontaneous fission) or under bombardment with neutrons, charged particles, gamma rays, or other carriers of energy (induced fission). Although nuclei with mass number A of approximately 100 or greater are energetically unstable against division into two lighter nuclei, the fission process has a small probability of occurring, except with the very heavy elements. Even for these elements, in which the energy release is of the order of 2 × 108 eV, the lifetimes against spontaneous fission are reasonably long. See also: Nuclear reaction
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