Difference between chemical reactions and nuclear reactions
In ordinary chemical reactions, the nuclei of the atoms taking part in a chemical reaction remain unaffected. Only the electrons in the extranuclear part of atoms take part in the chemical process.
- These reactions involve some loss, gain or overlap of outer orbital electrons of the reactant atoms.
- A chemical reaction is balanced in terms of mass only
- The energy changes in any chemical reaction is very much less when compared with nuclear reaction.
- In chemical reactions, the energy is expressed in terms of kilojoules per mole.
- No new element is produced since nucleus is unaffected.
- Nuclear reactions involve emission of alpha, beta and gamma particles from the nucleus.
- Nuclear reaction is balanced in terms of both mass and energy.
- The energy changes are far exceed than the energy changes in chemical reactions.
- In nuclear reactions, the energy involved is expressed in MeV (Million electron volts) per individual nucleus.
- New element / isotope may be produced during the nuclear reaction.