Unit 3 Nuclear Chemistry Vocabulary List

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The emission of ionizing radiation or particles caused by the spontaneous disintegration of atomic nuclei.
Ionizing Radiation
Radiation consisting of particles, X-rays, or gamma rays with sufficient energy to cause ionization in the medium through which it passes.
Non-ionizing radiation
Any type of electromagnetic radiation that does not carry enough energy per quantum to ionize atoms or molecules.
is the process by which an atom or a molecule acquires a negative or positive charge by gaining or losing electrons to form ions, often in conjunction with other chemical changes.
Alpha particle
a helium nucleus emitted by some radioactive substances, originally regarded as a ray.
Beta particle
a fast-moving electron emitted by radioactive decay of substances. (The emission of beta particles was originally regarded as a ray.).
Gamma ray
penetrating electromagnetic radiation of a kind arising from the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei
Penetrating Power
The power at which rays penetrate.
Ionizing ability
is the ease with which radioactivity forms ions.
Alpha decay
or α-decay is a type of radioactive decay in which an atomic nucleus emits an alpha particle (helium nucleus) and thereby transforms or ‘decays’ into an atom with a mass number that is reduced by four and an atomic number that is reduced by two.
Beta decay
radioactive decay in which an electron is emitted.
each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei, and hence differ in relative atomic mass but not in chemical properties; in particular, a radioactive form of an element.
Electromagnetic radiation
a kind of radiation including visible light, radio waves, gamma rays, and X-rays, in which electric and magnetic fields vary simultaneously.
Nuclear fission
a nuclear reaction in which a heavy nucleus splits spontaneously or on impact with another particle, with the release of energy.
Nuclear fusion
a nuclear reaction in which atomic nuclei of low atomic number fuse to form a heavier nucleus with the release of energy.
the time taken for the radioactivity of a specified isotope to fall to half its original value.
Nuclear Power
electric or motive power generated by a nuclear reactor.
Coal Power
Power formed from burning fossil fuels such as coal.
Radioactive dating
any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.
a subatomic particle with the same mass as an electron and a numerically equal but positive charge.
the changing of one element into another by radioactive decay, nuclear bombardment, or similar processes.
Nuclear Reaction
a change in the identity or characteristics of an atomic nucleus that results when it is bombarded with an energetic particle, as in fission, fusion, or radioactive decay.
Categories: Nuclear Chemistry