Can you split an atom while cutting a tomato to cause a nuclear explosion?

No, there is absolutely no chance that cutting a tomato will cause a nuclear explosion. Why? Let’s look at it-

  • First of all, there can’t possibly be any knife in your kitchen that can ‘split’ an atom. The width of the sharpest knife in your kitchen will still be infinitely more than an atom.
  • If, by any sort of scientific miracle, you are able to procure a knife that is of the same width as an atom (well, it will be invisible to the naked eye), it won’t be able to ‘split’ an atom. At best, it will be able to push the atom to one side.
  • Let’s say that your atom-knife is somehow able to ‘split’ the atom. Even in that case, a nuclear explosion is off the charts because the tomato is made up of mainly Hydrogen, Oxygen (basically, water) and Carbon. All these elements are quite light elements and the energy released by them is simply not enough to cause any sort of explosion whatsoever.
  • For the sake of it, let’s say that the tomato was a super tomato made of some heavy element like Uranium( the element used in nuclear reactors). Even then the chances of an explosion is close to zero because nuclear explosion is a continuous process of countless atoms splitting and each of them produces a little energy. All this energy adds up to cause the explosion that we are talking about. Splitting one atom will hardly produce the energy required for an explosion. If you can do it around \(10^{24}\) in quick succession, then we can talk about an explosion.

So, you can relax. There is nothing to worry about any sort of nuclear explosion while cutting a tomato in your kitchen. You can cut all the tomatoes that you want in complete peace. 🙂

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