Unit 02 : Nuclear Chemistry

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1) How does a nuclear reaction differ from a chemical reaction?
• Nuclear reactions change an element into a completely different element AND produce massive amounts of energy.
2) In terms of atomic structure, what makes a nucleus unstable?
• The ratio of protons to neutrons is wrong; it is greater than atomic number 82.
3) Explain the difference between a natural nuclear reaction and an artificial nuclear reaction.
• Natural: one element decays into a particle and another
• Artificial: two elements transmutate into other elements.
4) What key term is associated with natural nuclear reactions?
• Decay
5) What 2 key terms are associated with artificial nuclear reactions?
• Fission & Fusion
6) Explain what a transmutation is.
• When an atom of one element turns into a different element.
7) Define radiation.
• A particle or energy given off as a result of transmutation
8) What are the three main types of radiation? (Write their names and symbols)
• alpha ᵅ
• beta ᵝ
• gamma ᵧ
9) What is the mass of each of these 3 radiation types?
• alpha 4
• beta 0
• gamma 0
10) What is the charge of these 3 radiation types?
• alpha 2
• beta -1
• gamma 0
11) What is the relative ionizing power of these 3 radiation types?
• alpha strong
• beta weak
• gamma weak
12) What is the relative penetrating power of these 3 radiation types?
• alpha weak
• beta medium
• gamma strong
13) Where on the Reference Table lists information about these types of radiation?
• Table O
14) What are the other three radiation types that are listed on this Table? (Don’t repeat answers from flashcard #8)
• Positron
• Neutron
• Proton
15) Where on the Reference Table lists decay modes for difference radioisotope?
• Table N
16) Explain what the law of conservation of mass is.
• The amount of mass that is started with is what you end with.
17) Explain what the law of conservation of charge is.
• Charge is conserved
18) Explain how to set up nuclear equations.
• _______→_____ + ______
19) Where do you look if the decay mode is not given for a nuclear equation?
• Table N
20) On which side of the arrow do you write the decay mode for a nuclear equation?
• The Right side (Products)
21) What is the half life period for a radioisotope?
• The amount of time that it takes for ½ to decay
22) What happens to the radioisotope atoms as they decay?
• They turn into other atoms
23) What can be used to change the length of time for a radioisotope’s half life period?
• NOTHING
24) Where do you look to find the half life period for different radioisotopes?
• Table N
25) How do you find the total number of half life periods that pass for a radioactive sample?
•Periods = t/T

t = time elapsed
T = The elements actual half – life

26) What happens to the mass of a radioactive sample as time passes by?
• It decays
27) What happens to the mass of a radioactive sample as you think about it going into the past?
• The mass will get bigger
28) How do you solve a half-life/mass problem when looking into the future?
• You divide by 2
29) How do you solve a half-life/mass problem when looking into the past?
• You multiply by 2
30) Make a quick sketch of the half-life decay graph from the notes.
• It will continue to decay as time passe but will never fully reach the mass of 0
31) When looking at a completed nuclear reaction, how can you tell it is a natural nuclear reaction?
• One element → _____ + ____
32) When looking at a completed nuclear reaction, how can you tell it is an artificial nuclear reaction?
• ____ + ____→____ + ______
33) What happens to the radioactive atoms that undergo fission?
• A large atom is split into many small in a chain reaction
34) What happens to the radioactive atoms that undergo fusion?
• 2 small hydrogens are fused together into a helium
35) What is the major product of both fission and fusion reactions?
• Energy
36) Where does the energy come from that’s produced in fission/fusion reactions?
• Some mass is converted to energy
37) Which type of nuclear reaction gives off the MOST energy?
• Fusion
38) What is a chain reaction?
• An unstoppable reaction
39) When does a chain reaction stop?
• When the starting material is used up
40) Describe the waste products of nuclear fission.
• Radioactive and dangerous
41) Describe the waste products of nuclear fusion.
• Its cleaner.
42) Why do human beings use nuclear fission to meet their energy needs instead of nuclear fusion?
• Fusion requires a tremendous amount of pressure and temperature which cannot be produced on earth.
43) Where is the only known place that nuclear fusion naturally occurs?
• Stars (like the Sun)
44) Which ratio of radioisotopes is used as a tracer to study biochemical reactions?
• C-14
45) Which ratio of radioisotopes is used to date the age of organic matter? Give an example of organic matter.
• Carbon-14 and Carbon-12

An example could be : A wolly mammoth

46) Which ratio of radioisotopes is used to date the age of inorganic matter? Give an example of inorganic matter.
• Uranium-238 and Lead (Pb) -206

An example could be : Rocks

47) When does a decay series end?
• When the original material is used up
48) Why is gamma radiation used in food treatment?
• It has the highest penetrating power and can pass through the food to kill the bacteria
49) Which 2 characteristics must a radioisotope have to be ideal for medical purposes?
• It has to have a short half life and can be eliminated from the body quickly
50) Which radioisotope is used to diagnose some brain tumors?
• Tc-99
51) Which radioisotope is used to diagnose thyroid disorders?
• I-131
52) Which two radioisotopes are used to destroy tumors and treat cancer?
• Radium (any isotope) & cobalt-60
Categories: Nuclear Chemistry