The fission of a Uranium-235 nucleus is triggered by the absorption of a slow neutron. The resulting fission products are two or three neutrons (which can go on to trigger more fissions, resulting in a chain reaction), and two smaller but similarly sized nuclei.
Hydrogen fusion releases a tremendous amount of energy. However, for hydrogen nuclei to come close together, they must first overcome the very strong electrical repulsive forces between the positively charged nuclei. This is why fusion can only occur at high temperature.
This comic depicts a rally for protons to overcome their “differences”, so as to fuse together and shine as a new star is born. Haha.
Radioactive decay is spontaneous, meaning the rate of decay is unaffected by external factors such as pressure and temperature.
This comic depicts some radioactive nuclei subjecting themselves to heat torture in the mistaken belief that it can postpone their eventual demise. Haha.
During a beta decay, a proton in the nucleus actually transforms into a neutron (that remains in the nucleus) and a high-energy electron (that is emitted as beta radiation).
This comic is wacky depiction of this incredible transformation. Haha.
During an gamma decay, an excited nucleus de-excites by ejecting a gamma photon.
This comic is a wacky depiction of this “calming down” process.
Half-life is the AVERAGE time taken for the activity of a sample of radioactive nuclide to halve.
This comic depicts half the candidates in the examination hall getting “killed” after every 30 minutes, corresponding to a half-life of 30 minutes. Haha.
* Do realize that for actual radioactive decay, a large number of nuclei must be present for half-life to be relevant. Also, radioactivity is random in nature so not exactly half will always decay in exactly one half-life.
At the 10th half-life, the number of undecayed radioactive nuclei in a sample would have dropped to (1/2)10 = 1/1024 of the original number.
In this comic, the sole survivor of 1024 siblings celebrates his 10th half-life alone. So sad.
* Do realize that for actual radioactive decay, the number of nuclei must be large in order for the decay rate to adhere to the exponential decay function. Also, radioactivity is random in nature so not exactly half will always decay in exactly one half-life.
Radioactivity is a random process. Meaning the probability of decay is uniform across all the nuclei in the sample. So even though we totally cannot predict which and when an individual nucleus will decay, we can predict that about half of them will always decay after one half-life.
In this comic, this hard fact of life is revealed to a group of helpless nuclei who have zero control over their own fate. Haha.
The helium-4 nucleus carries away most of the energy released during the alpha-decay. The daughter nuclide recoils.
Rutherford interrogated the atom to find out its composition, by firing alpha particles into the atom. Haha.
This comic depicts the famous analogy by Rutherford.