Chapter 24: Nuclear Chemistry Vocab

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radioisotopes
isotopes of atoms with unstable nuclei
x-rays
a form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation
penetrating power
the ability of radiation to pass through matter
transmutation
a reaction in which an atom’s atomic number is altered
nucleons
protons and neutrons
strong nuclear force
acts on subatomic particles that are extremely close together and overcomes the electrostatic repulsion among protons
band of stability
the area of the graph within which all stable nuclei are found
positron emission
a radioactive decay process that involves the emission of a positron from a nucleus
positron
a particle with the same mass of an electron but opposite charge
electron capture
when the nucleus of an atom draws in a surrounding electron, usually one from the lowest energy level
radioactive decay series
a series of nuclear reactions that begins with an unstable nucleus and results in the formation of a stable nucleus
half-life
the time required for one-half of a radioisotope’s nuclei to decay into its products
radiochemical dating
the process of determining the age of an object by measuring the amount of a certain radioisotope remaining in the object
induced transmutation
a process which involves striking nuclei with high-velocity particles
transuranium elements
the elements immediately following uranium in the periodic table- elements with atomic numbers of 93 o greater
mass defect
the difference in mass between a nucleus and its component nucleons
nuclear fission
the splitting of a nucleus into fragments
critical mass
a sample that is massive enough to sustain a chain reaction
breeder reactions
reactors able to produce more fuel than they se
nuclear fusion
the combination of atomic nuclei
thermonuclear reactions
fusion reactions
ionizing radiation
radiation energy enough to ionize matter with which it collides
radiotracer
a radioisotope that emits non-ionizing radiation and is used to signal the presence of an element or specific substance
Categories: Nuclear Chemistry