|a process in which the structure and energy content of an atomic nucleus are changed by interaction with another nucleus or particle|
A reaction that changes the number of protons or neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. There are several kinds of nuclear reactions, including the fragmentation of large nuclei into smaller ones (nuclear fission), the building up of small nuclei into larger ones (nuclear fusion), and changes begun by collisions with elementary particles or other nuclei (as in particle accelerators).
change in the identity or characteristics of an atomic nucleus, induced by bombarding it with an energetic particle. The bombarding particle may be an alpha particle, a gamma-ray photon, a neutron, a proton, or a heavy ion. In any case, the bombarding particle must have enough energy to approach the positively charged nucleus to within range of the strong nuclear force.
Learn more about nuclear reaction with a free trial on Britannica.com.