Chapter 10 nuclear chemistry study guide

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Radioactive materials have unstable what?


After the nucleus of a radioactive element undergoes changes, the element can transform into what?

Another element

What is an Alpha particle and why does it have a charge of +2?

It has 2 protons and neutrons and no electrons. It has a helium nucleus.

What are the three types of nuclear radiation discussed in this chapter?

Alpha, Beta, and Gamma

the type of nuclear radiation that can penetrate farthest through matter is called what?


The process of nuclear change in atom of radioactive material is called what?

Nuclear decay

Nuclear radiation refers to charged particles or energy emitted by an unstable what?


What happens to the mass number in Alpha decay?

It decreases by four

Alpha particles are nuclei of what element?


226 Ra ====> 222 Rn + 4 He
88 86 2
In this example of alpha decay, what is the mass number of radium before decay?


226 Ra ====> 222 Rn + 4 He
88 86 2
In this example, what are the chemical symbols of the products of the decay?

226 Rn + 4 He
86 2

What happens to the nucleus during beta decay?

A neutron breaks down and releases a proton and an electron. A proton joins the nucleus and the electron is emitted as beta radiation

When a nucleus undergoes nuclear decay by gamma rays, what happens to the atomic number of the element?


In radioactivity decay, with each successful half-life, half the remaining sample decays to form another what?


The attractive force between protons and neutrons in a nucleus caused by the strong nuclear force acts only....... (finish the sentence)

Over a short distance

Nuclei with too many or too few neutrons are what?


The process of the production of lighter nuclei from heavier nuclei is called what?


What happens in a fission reaction?

nuclei combined to form heavier nuclei

What would be the opposite of a fusion reaction?


What does e=mc2 stand for?

Energy= mass times speed of light squared

How can Fission chain reaction be slowed?

If you control the neutrons by absorbing them

You prepare a large screened-in box, inside you place several dozen mouse traps. You set each trap and on each mouse trap you place a ping pong ball. You then drop another ping pong ball into the box, which sets off one of the mouse traps, which sets off other mouse traps, and so on. What have you just demonstrated?

chain reaction

Where does background radiation come from?

Natural environment (rocks, plants, sun, all around)

what element would be used in a fusion reactor?


what is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus emits charged particles or energy or both?

Nuclear decay

Uranium-238 undergoes Alpha particle. Therefore, Uranium-238 will become what?

Thorium- 234

What type of nuclear decay releases energy but not a particle?


When Radim -226 decay to form radon-222, the radium nucleus emits a(n)..... (finish the sentence)

Alpha particle

What type of radiation is emitted when polonium-212 forms lead-208?


Carbon-14 forms nitrogen-14 by what type of decay?


Many people work near a source of nuclear radiation. To detect the amount of exposure they have to radiation, they most likely will use what?

Film Badge

The half-life of tritium, or hydrogen-3, is 12.32 years. After about 24.6 years, how much of a sample of tritium will remain unchanged? (what fraction)


What is the half-life of a radioisotope?

The time it takes for half of the substance to decay and become a different element

What is the difference between chemical reaction rates and the rate of nuclear decay?

The rate of nuclear decay is constant. Chemical reactions can be sped up or slowed down

Compare what would probably happen to a chemical reaction and a nuclear reaction if the temperature were increased

A chemical reaction would most likely happen faster. A nuclear reaction would happen at the same rate.

How much smaller is an electron than a proton?

1836 (about 2000 times smaller)

In general, the nucleus of a small atom is stable. Compare the attraction of the strong nuclear force to electric forces in a small nucleus

The strong nuclear force overcomes the electric forces over a short distances in a small nucleus

. How does the strong nuclear force felt by a single proton in a large nucleus compare to the electric forces?

In a large nucleus a proton will be affected by many more electric forces than strong nuclear forces. These smaller electric forces will contribute to the instability of the nucleus

During nuclear fission, great amounts of energy are produced from what?

splitting atoms

Suppose 3 neutrons are released by an atom in the first stage of a fission chain reaction. Each of these neutrons has enough energy to cause another fission reaction in another nucleus of the material. If all the neutrons cause other nuclei to fission, how many atoms will have undergone fission after 2 more stages of the chain reaction? (It might help to diagram the reaction)

13 atoms total will have undergone fission

What are some advantages of using nuclear power plants to produce electricity?

no air pollution and it is very efficient

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