Heavy water can serve as a neutron moderator in a nuclear reactor, which slows down fast particles and encourages the fission reaction. Neutrons in a fission reaction travel either fast or slowly. The fast neutrons tend to be absorbed by certain isotopes of uranium rather than continuing the fission reaction, but the larger deuterium atoms in heavy water help slow down these fast neutrons, ensuring they continue the chain reaction.Know More
Heavy water molecules are heavy because they contain deuterium. Ordinarily, the nucleus of a hydrogen atom consists of a single proton, but deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that contains one neutron as well as one proton, vastly increasing the weight of the element and altering its atomic properties.
Heavy water reactors offer some advantages over those that use normal, or light, water as a neutron moderator. Heavy water allows the use of natural uranium as fuel, while light water reactors require enriched uranium, which is much more difficult to produce. Additionally, heavy water reactors can be used to convert natural uranium into weapons-grade material as part of the fission process, a potential threat to nuclear nonproliferation. For this reason, the import and export of large quantities of heavy water is regulated in many countries, and the international trade in heavy water is open to scrutiny.Learn more about Thermodynamics
The difference between temperature and thermal energy is that temperature measures the average kinetic speed of molecules and thermal energy is the total kinetic energy of all particles in a given substance. In other words, temperature measures the average speed of movement, and thermal energy measures the mass of a substance. Both temperature and thermal energy are made by the movement of particles.Full Answer >
When particles are heated, they absorb energy, which in turn causes them to start moving around more. All atoms and molecules move constantly. Solids move the least, with particles mostly just vibrating, and gas particles move the most, typically freely bounding around in open space.Full Answer >
Thermal energy is the energy that a system or object possesses due to the random movement of its particles. When more particles are present, there is more movement, which results in more thermal energy.Full Answer >
The transfer of heat from an object's surroundings increases the energy of the particles that make up the object. Raising the kinetic energy of a particle increases its movement.Full Answer >