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Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Bell ringer
1. How long will it take for 24g of a
radioactive isotope with a half life of 5000
yrs to decay down to .75g?
2. Write and balance the equation for when
Hassium 277 undergoes Alpha Decay.
3. Write and balance the equation for when
Carbon 14 undergoes Beta Decay

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Key Ideas
What holds the nuclei of atoms together?
What is released when the nucleus of a heavy atom is
split?
What happens when the nuclei of small atoms are
joined?

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Forces
What holds the nuclei of atoms together?
The stability of a nucleus depends on the
nuclear forces that hold the nucleus together.
These forces act between the protons and the
neutrons.
Nuclei are held together by a special force.

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Forces, continued


Protons and neutrons are tightly packed in the tiny
nucleus of an atom.

How do the like charged protons (+) not push the nucleus
apart?

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Forces
strong nuclear force: causes protons and neutrons in the
nucleus to attract each other.
This attraction is much stronger than the electric repulsion
between protons.

Neutrons contribute to nuclear stability.


Too many neutrons or protons can cause a nucleus to
become unstable and decay. Volunteers?
Nuclei with more than 92 protons are always unstable.

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Forces, continued

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fission
What is released when the nucleus of a heavy
atom is split?
In the fission process, when the nucleus splits,
both neutrons and energy are released.
fission: the process by which a nucleus splits into two or
more fragments and releases neutrons and energy

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Visual Concept: Nuclear Fission

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fission, continued


Uranium-235 can also undergo fission by producing
different pairs of lighter nuclei.
235
92

U n
1
0

140
56

Ba Kr 3 n energy
93
36

1
0

Are all the particles accounted for?


What two elements does uranium break down into?

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fission, continued

Energy is released during a nuclear fission.

Mass-Energy Equation

Energy mass speed of light


E mc 2

Speed of light = 300,000,000m/s


Speed of light ^2 = 90000000000000000m/s

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fission, continued


Energy is released when nuclei form.
mass defect: the difference in the total measured
mass of a nucleus and the sum of the individual
masses of the neutrons and protons that make up the
nucleus
This small amount of mass changes into energy.

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fission, continued


Neutrons released by fission can start a chain reaction.
nuclear chain reaction: a continuous series of
nuclear fission reactions
Chain reactions can be controlled.
If the amount of fissionable substance is less than the
critical mass, a chain reaction will not continue.
critical mass: the minimum mass of a fissionable
isotope that provides the number of neutrons needed
to sustain a chain reaction See Critical Mass
Chain reaction animation

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Modeling a Chain Reaction


On a piece of paper model the chain
reaction of a secret traveling around the
school
Starts with you you tell two people
they tell two people each and so on.
How many people know after only 4
conversations?

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Changes

Chain Reaction

Section 2

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Visual Concept: Nuclear Chain Reaction

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Visual Concept: Critical Mass

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fusion
What happens when the nuclei of small atoms
are joined?
Energy can be obtained when very light nuclei
are combined to form heavier nuclei.
fusion: the process in which light nuclei combine at
extremely high temperatures, forming heavier nuclei and
releasing energy

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fusion, continued


In stars energy is produced when hydrogen nuclei
combine.
A large amount of energy is needed to start a fusion
reaction.
Four hydrogen atoms combine to make a helium
atom and high-energy gamma rays in a three-step
process.
H 11H 21H other particles

1
1

H 11H 32 He 00

2
1
3
2

He 32 He 42 He 11H 11H

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Nuclear Fusion, continued

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Visual Concept: Nuclear Fusion

Melting points of metals

Nuclear Changes

Section 2

Comparing Fission and Fusion

Make 2 columns on a piece of paper


Column 1 label fission column 2 fusion
Label each of the following along the left
Reactants, products, process, energy
released, radioactivity of products, problems,
benefits