The process of capturing the neutron and splitting happens very quickly, on the order of picoseconds (1*10E-12 seconds). An incredible amount of energy is released, in the form of heat and gamma radiation, when an atom splits. The energy +released by a single fission comes from the fact that the fission products and the neutrons, together, weigh less than the original U-235 atom. The difference in weight is converted to energy at a rate governed by the equation e = m * c ^ 2. A pound of highly enriched uranium as used in a nuclear bomb is equal to something on the order of a million gallons of gasoline. When you consider that a pound of uranium is smaller than a baseball and a million gallons of gasoline would fill a cube 50 feet per side (50 feet is as tall as a 5-story building), you can get an idea of the amount of energy available in just a little bit of U-235! In order for these properties of U-235 to work, a sample of uranium must be enriched . Weapons-grade uranium is composed of 90% or more U-235.
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