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Terms in this set (17)
Rxns involving changes to the nucleus of an atom as opposed to its electrons
Strong nuclear force
The force that holds the nucleus together despite the fact that protons are repelling each other
These types of substance have an unstable nucleus that will undergo decay because they have too many protons repelling each other for the nuclear force to keep the nucleus together; These types of elements can occur naturally (e.g., atomic number >83) or they can be produced in nuclear reactions
The emission of alpha particles by atoms that have too many protons to be stable. Each lost particle results in the creation of an isotope that has a mass number that is 4 less than the parent atom and an atomic number that is 2 less; This type of radiation doesn't have much penetrating power. It can travel only a few cm, is easily stopped by clothing or paper, and is not harmful unless it enters the body.
The conversion of a neutron to a proton, which stays inside the nucleus, and an electron, which is ejected from the nucleus at high velocity. Each lost particle results in the creation of an isotope that has the same mass number as the parent atom but an atomic number that is 1 less; This type of radiation is 100x more penetrating than α-particles. It can pass 1-2 mm through solid material, including clothing and skin.
The emission of gamma rays - a high energy stream of light (rays, not particles); This type of radiation is the most penetrating & most dangerous. It can pass deep into solid material, including body tissue. It is stopped only by heavy shielding (concrete or lead). It can cause cancer, burns, and genetic damage
Shows how a nucleus gains or loses subatomic particles in a nuclear reaction; shows the atomic numbers and mass numbers of the atoms involved
A reaction in which a large nucleus is split into two smaller nuclei. Energy is given off and 3 neutrons are shot out of the nucleus. Some of the atom's mass is converted to energy; the source of power for the atomic bomb, nuclear power plants
Nuclear chain reaction
A continuous series of fission reactions that produce a tremendous amount of energy
A reaction in which two small nuclei join to form a single large nucleus; the source of power for the sun and other stars.
The study of the properties and behavior of atomic nuclei
The tiny, dense center of the atom that contains protons and neutrons.
A force between particles with the same electrical charge that causes them to be pulled together
A force between particles with opposite electrical charges that causes them to push apart from one another
The emission from a radioactive nucleus that is composed of 2 protons and 2 neutrons in the form of a helium nucleus; emitted because the atom has too many protons to be stable; symbol: 4/2 He
A high velocity electron released from a radioactive nucleus; emitted because the atom has too many neutrons to be stable; symbol: 0/-1e
Nuclear Decay Series
A series of radioactive decays that lead from a large unstable nuclide, such as uranium 238, to a stable nuclide, such as lead-206
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