Unit 02 : Nuclear Chemistry
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?
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)
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
51) Which radioisotope is used to diagnose thyroid disorders?
52) Which two radioisotopes are used to destroy tumors and treat cancer?
• Radium (any isotope) & cobalt-60