Nuclear Physics and Radioactivity

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what the nucleus is composed of
strong force
responsible for a nuclear cement that holds the nucleus together
two major forces that act on a nucleus
1) electrical force
2) strong force
what will a neutron decay into?
a proton plus an electron
Mass energy equivilance
when something decays, it will have less mass than before
Alpha particles
have positive electric charge
penetration is easiest to stop
beta particles
have negative electric charge
can be stopped by some sheets aluminum
gamma rays
electrically neutral
-massless energy that is high in freq and energy
-most dangerous radiation
-electromagnetic ray
changing of one element into another element through a loss or gain in number of protons
difference between gamma rays and visible light
-both electromagnetic rays
a form of an element having a particular number of neutrons in the nuclei of its atoms
-determines what atom you have
atomic number
tells us the number of protons
atomic mass
tells us the total number of nucleons in the nucleus
half life of a radioactive material
time needed for half of the radioactive atoms to decay
sources of natural radiation
-cosmic rays
-earth minerals
-radiation in the air
nuclear fission
the splitting of atomic nuclei
–when repelling forces > attracting forces
chain reaction
reaction in which one reaction stimulates one or more additional reaction events to keep the process going
critical mass
amount of mass for which each fission produces on average
breeder reactor
-a nuclear fission reactor that produces more nuclear fuel than it consumes
mass and energy equivalence
nuclear fusion
-when energy is released as light nuclei fuse
-takes place in sun, nuclear weapons, atomic bombs
Categories: Atomic Physics