Difference between Chemical Reactions and Nuclear Reactions

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.

Chemical reactions

  1. These reactions involve some loss, gain or overlap of outer orbital electrons of the reactant atoms.
  2. A chemical reaction is balanced in terms of mass only
  3. The energy changes in any chemical reaction is very much less when compared with nuclear reaction.
  4. In chemical reactions, the energy is expressed in terms of kilojoules per mole.
  5. No new element is produced since nucleus is unaffected.


Nuclear reactions

  1. Nuclear reactions involve emission of alpha, beta and gamma particles from the nucleus.
  2. Nuclear reaction is balanced in terms of both mass and energy.
  3. The energy changes are far exceed than the energy changes in chemical reactions.
  4. In nuclear reactions, the energy involved is expressed in MeV (Million electron volts) per individual nucleus.
  5. New element / isotope may be produced during the nuclear reaction.

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