šekâft-e haste-yi (#)
Fr.: fission nucléaire
A → nuclear reaction in which a heavy atomic nucleus splits into two or more approximately equal parts, usually as the result of the capture of a slow, or → thermal neutron by the nucleus. It is normally accompanied by the emission of further neutrons or → gamma rays and very large amounts of energy. The neutrons can continue the process as a → chain reaction, so that it becomes the source of energy in a → nuclear reactor or an atomic bomb. It may also be a trigger for → nuclear fusion in a hydrogen bomb. Fission occurs spontaneously in nuclei of uranium-235, the main fuel used in nuclear reactors.