Difference Between Chemical Reactions and Nuclear Reactions

In the field of chemistry, studying about reactions is one of the most important things that a student has to do. However, apart from the subject, reactions be it chemical or nuclear are the most important types of events that occur in the universe. If we look around, we will find reaction happening everywhere. The most common example of a reaction taking place is the process of photosynthesis in plants. Likewise, human beings also experience some sort of reaction happening inside their bodies all the time.

That being said, here we will focus mainly on chemical and nuclear reactions. We will look at a brief description and further learn about the key differences between chemical reactions and nuclear reactions.

Chemical reaction is a type of reaction where two molecules interact or the atoms of an element reorganize themselves to form a whole new product. On the other hand, nuclear reaction is a type of reaction where the structure of the nucleus of an atom changes completely while releasing energy.

Difference Between Chemical Reactions and Nuclear Reactions

The main difference between chemical reaction and nuclear reaction is based on how or where the reaction takes place in the atom. Let’s have a look at the differences below.

Difference Between Chemical Reactions and Nuclear Reactions

Chemical Reaction

Nuclear Reaction

Chemical reaction normally occurs outside the nucleus.

Nuclear reaction happens only inside the nucleus.

When chemical reactions occur elements hold their identity and the nuclei of atoms also remains unchanged.

During nuclear reactions, the nuclei of atoms changes completely and new elements are formed.

Chemical reaction can be influenced by pressure or temperature.

Nuclear reaction is independent of such factors.

During such reactions there is low energy change.

Energy changes accompanying nuclear reactions are relatively higher and larger.

There is breaking of old bonds and formation of new chemical bonds in a chemical reaction.

No such activity is involved during nuclear reactions.

Chemical reactions can either be reversible or irreversible.

Nuclear reactions are mostly irreversible.

These are some of the differences chemical reactions and nuclear reactions. To know more about different types of reactions and other chemistry topics you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

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Practise This Question

Which of the following does not react with nitrous acid?