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Difference Between Nuclear reaction and Chemical reaction

atom-orbitsNnuclear reaction vs Chemical reaction

One of the main differences between nuclear reaction and chemical reaction is related to how the reaction takes place in the atom. While nuclear reaction takes place in the atom’s nucleus, the electrons in the atom are responsible for Chemical reactions.

The chemical reactions involve the transfer, loss, gain and sharing of electrons and nothing takes place in the nucleus. Nuclear reactions involve the decomposition of the nucleus and have nothing to do with the electrons. When the nucleus decomposes, it may change to another atom because of the loss of neutrons or protons. In a nuclear reaction, the protons and neutrons react inside the nucleus and in chemical reactions the electrons react outside the nucleus.

Nuclear reaction can be termed as either fission or fusion. Chemical reactions, on the other hand cannot be termed so. In a chemical reaction, a substance is changed to one or more other substances because of the action of the electrons. But in a nuclear reaction, a new element is formed because of the action of the proton or neutron.

When comparing the energies, a chemical reaction involves only low energy change, where as a nuclear reaction has a very high-energy change. In a nuclear reaction, the energy changes in the magnitude of 10^8 kJ. It is 10 – 10^3 kJ/mol in chemical reactions. .

While the elements get transmuted into other elements in a nuclear reaction, the number of atom remains same with chemical reactions. In a nuclear reaction, the isotopes are seen to react differently. But in a chemical reaction, the isotopes reacts the same.

While Nuclear reaction is not depended on chemical combinations, chemical reaction is largely depended on chemical combinations.

When mass changes can be detected in a nuclear reaction, in the chemical reactions, the mass of the reactants are equal to mass of the products.

Summary
1. While nuclear reaction takes place in the atom’s nucleus, the electrons in the atom are responsible for Chemical reactions.
2. The chemical reactions involve the transfer, loss, gain and sharing of electrons and nothing takes place in the nucleus. Nuclear reactions involve the decomposition of the nucleus and have nothing to do with the electrons.
3. In a nuclear reaction, the protons and neutrons react inside the nucleus and in chemical reactions the electrons react outside the nucleus.
4. When comparing the energies, a chemical reaction involves only low energy change, where as a nuclear reaction has a very high-energy change.


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