Fusion is the fusing of two or more lighter atoms into a larger one. Nuclear Fusion occurs naturally in stars and the sun and very few radioactive particles are produced by a fusion reaction. But if a fission “trigger” is used, radioactive particles will result from that. The hydrogen bomb uses a fission reaction to “trigger” a fusion reaction. It takes extremely high energy to bring two or more protons close enough that nuclear forces overcome their electrostatic repulsion.
Fission is the splitting of a large atom into two or more smaller ones. Nuclear Fission does not normally occur in nature. Fission produces many highly radioactive particles. One class of nuclear weapon is a fission bomb (otherwise known as an atom bomb). It takes little energy to split two atoms in a fission reaction.
Fusion reactions do sometimes emit radiation, though generally much less than fission reactions. First, fusion typically occurs between smaller atoms. In combining atoms, fusion usually only causes the release of a small amount of protons or neutrons, along with energy. Fission, on the other hand, is the process of splitting a large atom by striking it with a neutron, causing the release of many neutrons, gamma rays, and other subatomic particles.
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