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Listen&Learn: Nuclear Fusion

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn how stars turn hydrogen into helium.
nuclear fusion

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • reaction: a process where a substance undergoes a change
  • nucleus: the central part of an atom
  • electron: a small charged particle that moves around the outside of an atom
  • convert: to change something into something else
  • fuse: to join together
  • hydrogen: the lightest chemical element
  • replicate: to recreate something

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Nuclear fusion is a type of reaction that turns one chemical element into another. The Sun and other use nuclear fusion as a form of power. In high enough , the nucleus of an atom can be separated from its electrons. The heat causes the nucleus to move very quickly. When two nuclei come close enough to each other, they fuse, forming a larger nucleus. This method allows stars to convert hydrogen atoms into helium atoms, and even more atoms after that. Nuclear fusion is a difficult to replicate on Earth, because it requires a lot of heat and pressure. However, many research groups around the world hope to find a way to use it as an source.

Comprehension questions

1. Nuclear fusion is a reaction that occurs in

Correct! Wrong!

Nuclear fusion is a reaction that occurs in stars.

2. A nucleus can separate from its electrons if

Correct! Wrong!

A nucleus can separate from its electrons if the temperature is high enough.

3. Scientists are researching nuclear fusion because

Correct! Wrong!

Scientists are researching nuclear fusion because they want to use it as an energy source.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Scientists are interested in nuclear fusion because it would be a clean and powerful energy source. Unlike the type of nuclear power we use today, nuclear fusion would not create dangerous waste. Can you think of any potential disadvantages to this type of energy?

Transcript

Nuclear fusion is a type of reaction that turns one chemical element into another. The Sun and other stars use nuclear fusion as a form of power. In high enough temperatures, the nucleus of an atom can be separated from its electrons. The heat causes the nucleus to move very quickly. When two nuclei come close enough to each other, they fuse, forming a larger nucleus. This method allows stars to convert hydrogen atoms into helium atoms, and even more complex atoms after that. Nuclear fusion is a difficult process to replicate on Earth, because it requires a lot of heat and pressure. However, many research groups around the world hope to find a way to use it as an energy source.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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