Science Semester 2 Study Guide: Nuclear Physics

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Isotope
Atoms that has the same atomic number, number of protons but different masses
Atomic number
The number of protons in an element or compound
Atomic mass
The total number/mass of proton and neutrons
Atomic symbol
The abbreviation of the element’s name
A-Z Notation
A common way of describing an element
Nuclear equation
An equation that measures decay
Nuclear decay (radioactivity)
The decay of an object
Daughter product
The result of decay
Alpha decay
The reason alpha decay occurs is because the nucleus has too many protons, which cause excessive repulsion. In an attempt to reduce the repulsion, a helium nucleus is emitted
Alpha particle
The nucleus of a helium atom consisting of two protons and two neutrons tightly bound
Beta decay (minus)
Results when a neutron decays into a proton and an electron. Thus, the Z-number increases by one
Beta decay (plus)
Results when a proton decays into a neutron and a positron. Thus, the Z-number decreases by one
Beta-minus particle
An electron that has been expelled from the nucleus
Positron
Positively charged electron
Gamma decay
Occurs when the nucleus has too much energy and has to decay
Gamma particle
A photon with an extremely high frequency (pure energy)
Half-life
The time it takes for half of an amount of isotope to decay
Fusion
The joining of light nuclei to form heavier nuclei
Fission
The splitting of an atom
Nuclear chain-reaction
When the atom splits making daughter cells
Fission bomb
Similar to an atomic bomb
Nuclear reactor
A device used to measure the nuclear chain fission
Beta-minus particle
An electron that has been expelled from the nucleus
Positron
When a positron is emitted
Gamma decay
Occurs when the nucleus has too much energy and has to decay
Gamma particle
A particle which has high energy
Half-life
The time of which an unstable isotope to decay
Fusion
The joining of light nuclei to form heavier nuclei
Fission
The splitting of an atom
Nuclear chain-reaction
When the atom splits making daughter cells
Fission bomb
Similar to an atomic bomb
Nuclear reactor
A device used to measure the nuclear chain fission
Categories: Atomic Physics