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Slide 1 of 11 Nuclear Reactions Energy changes as a result of radioactive decay, fission and fusion.

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Presentation on theme: "Slide 1 of 11 Nuclear Reactions Energy changes as a result of radioactive decay, fission and fusion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slide 1 of 11 Nuclear Reactions Energy changes as a result of radioactive decay, fission and fusion.

2 Slide 2 of 11

3 Slide 3 of 11

4 Slide 4 of 11 Nuclear vs. Chemical Nuclear reactions do not follow the same rules that chemical reactions do For example, in a nuclear reaction matter can be created or destroyed. They are not affected by temperature, pressure or catalysts, and they cannot be speeded up, slowed down or turned off.

5 Slide 5 of 11 Discovery of Radioactivity In 1896, Antoine Henri Becquerel, noticed that photographic film would fog when it was exposed to Uranium salts. He had two assistants, Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, were able to show that the fogging was caused by rays emitted from the Uranium atoms in the ore. Marie Curie named the process by which materials give off such rays Radioactivity. The rays and particles that are given off are called radiation. This discovery tore apart Dalton’s theory of an indivisible atom.

6 Slide 6 of 11 Image of Becquerel's photographic plate which has been fogged by exposure to radiation from a uranium salt. The shadow of a metal Maltese Cross placed between the plate and the uranium salt is clearly visible.Maltese Cross

7 Slide 7 of 11 We are going to be studying three types of radiation. Alpha (  )(Positive) Beta (  )(Negative) Gamma (  )(No charge)

8 Slide 8 of 11 Radioactive Decay Three common types of radioactive decay TypeParticle Relative Size Relative Energy Alpha 4 2 He LargeLow Beta 0 +1 e Effectively none Medium GammaNot a particleHigh

9 Slide 9 of 11 Alpha Particles Alpha radiation consists of helium nuclei that have been emitted from a radioactive source. These emitted particles, alpha particles, contain two protons and two neutrons, and have a 2+ charge. However, when writing a nuclear reaction, the electric charge is generally omitted. Alpha particles are either written as 4 2 He or .

10 Slide 10 of 11 Alpha U  Th He (  )

11 Slide 11 of 11 Beta Particles Beta radiation consists of fast moving electrons formed from the decomposition of a neutron in an atom. The neutron (no charge) decomposes into a proton, which remains in the nucleus, and an electron, which is released. 1 0 n  1 1 H e (beta particle) The fact that the  particle is negatively charged is reflected in the subscript –1, where the atomic number is generally written. The virtual lack of mass is expressed in the superscript 0, corresponding to the mass number.

12 Slide 12 of 11 Beta Cs  Ba e

13 Slide 13 of 11 Gamma Radiation Gamma radiation is high energy electromagnetic radiation given off by radioisotopes. Visible light is also part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but much lower in energy. Gamma rays are often emitted along with alpha or beta radiation by the nuclei of disintegrating radioactive atoms. Gamma rays have no mass or electrical charge, therefore, the emission of gamma radiation does not alter the atomic number or mass number of an atom.

14 Slide 14 of 11 Gamma Radiation

15 Slide 15 of 11 Penetration Alpha stopped by tissue paper Beta stopped by water/Al foil Gamma stopped by Pb

16 Slide 16 of 11 Fission & Fusion Fission Fusion

17 Slide 17 of 11 Energy from fission Nuclear fission releases a lot of energy. In fact, the fission of 1 kg of Uranium-235 releases as much energy as tons of dynamite. In an uncontained reaction, this occurs in only a fraction of a second. Atom bombs are devises that start uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions

18 Slide 18 of 11 Energy from Fusion The energy that the sun gives off comes from nuclear fusion. Fusion occurs when nuclei combine to produce a nucleus of greater mass. In solar fusion, Hydrogen nuclei (protons) fuse to form Helium nuclei, it also requires 2 beta particles. Fusion releases more energy than Fission, however, it can only occur at temperatures in excess of 40,000,000°C.

19 Slide 19 of 11 Relative Energies ProcessEnergy H 2 O (l)  H 2 O (g) 40.7 kJ/mol H 2 O (g)  H 2(g) + ½ O 2(g) kJ/mol H 2  H + H 432 kJ/mol 2 1 H H  4 2 H e 2.5 x 10 9 kJ/mol

20 Slide 20 of 11 Half-Life Every radioisotope has a characteristic rate of decay that is called a half-life. The half-life of a substance is the time required for half of the nuclei of a radioactive substance to decay into it’s products. The second half-life will leave you with ¼ of your original sample. The third half-life will leave you with 1/8 of your original sample. Half-lives can be a short as a fraction of a second or as long as billions of years. Carbon-dating uses the half-life of Carbon-14 in order to date old artifacts.

21 Slide 21 of 11 Radioactive Half-life Half-life: The time it takes for half the material to decay. Link to Applet

22 Slide 22 of 11


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