• Chemical reactions occur on the level of atoms. The reacting atoms give up, accept, and/or share electrons. In this way they form chemical bonds. However, the atoms themselves don't change from one element to another. On the other hand, nuclear reactions (such as fusion) involve the nuclei of the atoms. When a nuclear reaction occurs the actual type of element changes. In the case of fusion, two or more lighter nuclei are rammed close enough together so that they can fuse to form a single atomic nucleus that is heavier and has higher atomic number than they original nuclei.

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