chemistry unit 3- nuclear chemistry

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nuclear stability
the larger a nucleus is, the harder it is for it to stay together
Natural decay/ natural transmutation
when a nucleus is radioactive it gives off decay particles and changes from one element to another.
Natural radioactivity
spontaneous disintegration of the nucleus of an atom, with the emission of particles and/ or energy
when a nucleus decays into new and different nucleus (also called radioactive decay)
how far into material the radioactive particle will go
natural transmutations
always have one reactant and 2 products
the period of time that must go by for half of the nuclei in the sample to undergo decay. During a half-life period, half of the radioactive nuclei in a sample decays to a new, more stable nuclei
artificial transmutations
“man made” reaction caused by hitting a nucleus with a high energy particle, such as a neutron or alpha particles. Has neutrons only on reactant side
unique to artificial transmutation
-stable nucleus and particle bullet collide to produce new products
-larger amount
common to artificial transmutation and natural decay
-mass and charge conserved
-both form new elements
-both produce energy
unique to natural decay
-single, unstable reactant decays into a decay particle and new, more stable nucleus
-smaller amount
splitting of a nucleus into smaller nuclei, accompanied by a release of neutrons and large amount of energy (exothermic) has neutrons on both side of the equation
occurs when nuclei combine to produce a nucleus of greater mass
-exothermic process, much more energy than fission
-only has neutron on reactant side
unique to nuclear fission
-splits nucleus into smaller particles
-artificial transmutation
-used to produce electricity in power-plants
-produces radioactive waste
common nuclear fission and fusion
-both generate energy the same way: convert mass to energy
unique to nuclear fusion
-combines 2 smaller nuclei together to form a larger one
-used by stars
-produces essentially no radioactive waste
Categories: Nuclear Chemistry