What are six differences between nuclear reaction and chemical reaction?

Oct 1, 2016

Six differences between nuclear reaction and chemical reaction

(1) Nuclear reactions involve a change in an atom's nucleus, usually producing a different element ,along with the emission of radiations like $\alpha , \beta \mathmr{and} \gamma \text{ etc}$ rays. Chemical reactions, on the other hand, involve only a rearrangement of electrons and do not involve changes in the nuclei. So nuclear reaction is nuclear phenomenon and chemical reaction is extra-nuclear phenomenon.

(2) Different isotopes of an element normally behave similarly in chemical reactions as their extra-nuclear electronic configurations are same. The nuclear chemistry of different isotopes vary greatly from each other.

(3) Rates of chemical reactions are influenced by external effect like temperature,pressure and catalysts. Rates of nuclear reactions are spontaneous and are unaffected by such factors.

(4) Nuclear reactions are independent of the chemical form of the element.This means both in elemental and in compound state same amount of radio-element shows similar radioactivity.

(5) Energy changes accompanying nuclear reactions are much larger. This energy comes from destruction of mass.

(6) In a nuclear reaction, mass is not strictly conserved. Some of the mass is converted into energy,according to the equation E = mc2 and the order of energy evolved during a nuclear reaction is much higher than that of a chemical reaction.