What Is Nuclear Fusion? - Definition & Process


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The majority of nuclear fusion occurring in our Sun has two hydrogen atoms fusing together to form a helium-4 atom. What is this process known as?

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1. In proton-proton fusion the final helium-4 atom weighs less than the original four hydrogen atoms that fused together. This excess mass was converted to energy. We can see the relation of mass to energy for this reaction in Einstein's famous equation E = mc^2, where 'E' is energy, 'm' is mass, and 'c' is the speed of light. Knowing all this, which of the following is true?

2. In a hydrogen bomb, the fusion process is triggered by a nuclear fission reaction. What is the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

With these tools, you will be assessed on the nuclear fusion occurring in our Sun and other stars, Einstein's E=mc^2, nuclear fission's contrast to nuclear fusion, and necessary factors of nuclear fusion.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

To elaborate, these practices will examine your understanding of:

  • High temperature's effect on nuclear fusion
  • Variables taken into account with star fusion
  • The difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission
  • A deeper knowledge of E=mc^2
  • The name of the process of nuclear fusion in our Sun

Skills Practiced

  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine information about stars in a different light
  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast topics from the lesson, such as nuclear fusion and nuclear fission
  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson on nuclear fusion

Additional Learning

Interested in learning more about nuclear fusion? Take a look at our related lesson titled What Is Nuclear Fusion? - Definition & Process. This lesson will teach you more about the following:

  • What powers the sun
  • Nuclear fusion on Earth
  • Nuclear fusion reactors
  • Nuclear fusion in the Sun and other stars