A Look at Nuclear Science and Technology

Larry Foulke

2.1 Atomic and Nuclear Physics – The Einstein Connection Getting to know the atom

The Einstein Connection

E=mc2

Image Source: See Note 1

The Atom

Image Source: See Note 2

The Atom
•  Electrons
–  Negatively charged, light-weight particles that orbit the nucleus. –  Involved in forming chemical bonds with other atoms

•  Protons
–  Positively charged, heavy particles in the atomic nucleus. –  Number of protons determines the element and all physical properties of atom.

•  Neutrons
–  Charge-less, heavy particles in atomic nucleus –  Neutrons stabilize the nucleus. To few or too many neutrons will make a nucleus unstable.

The Atom
•  Atoms are identified by –  Atomic Number (Z): Number of protons in the nucleus. Determines what element the atom is. –  Atomic Mass (A): Total weight of the atom, equal to number of protons + number of neutrons. (A=Z+N) •  Notation Atomic Mass

Examples 𝐴
𝑍 X  
Element (or Chemical) Symbol •  •  • 
1 H 1 4 He 2 235 U 92

Atomic Number (optional)

Isotopes
•  Nuclide – A type of atom characterized by the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of every atom of this type. •  Isotopes – Atoms with the same number of protons (same element) but containing different numbers of neutrons.
– Nuclides with same atomic number but different atomic masses.

232 92

Isotopes
U
233 92

Uranium − 232 Uranium − 233 Uranium − 234

U
234 92

U
235 92

U
236 92

Uranium − 235 U
237 92

Uranium − 236 U
238 92

Uranium − 237 U Uranium − 238

Isotopes
1 1

H
2 1

Hydrogen H or D
3 1 2 1

Deuterium Tritium

H or T

3 1

Mass and Energy Units
•  Mass -- Atomic Mass Unit (amu)
1 amu = 1/12 mass of Carbon-12 atom = 1.660565 x 10-27 kg Proton Neutron = 1.007276 amu = 1.008665 amu Electron = 0.000549 amu

•  Energy -- Electron Volt (eV)
1 eV = 1 electron charge x 1 volt = 1.60219 x 10- 19 Joules 1 keV 1 MeV = 1,000 eV = 1,000,000 eV

The Nucleus
4He

•  Nucleus –  Protons & Neutrons tightly packed together into a (roughly) spherical shape.

1.98 fm = 1.98×10-15 m

•  How Tightly Packed?
–  dnucleus / datom = 6.4×10-5 –  Vnucleus / Vatom = 2.6×10-13 = 0.000000000026%
Image Source: See Note 3

31 pm =

31×10-12

m

Nucleus Size Comparisons
•  If atomic volume is the size of a medium classroom:
–  30 ×30 ×10 = 9000 cu. ft.

•  The nucleus would be the same size as an a grain of sand
–  ~8 mils = ~0.2 mm

Atomic Diameter = 100 m Nuclear Diameter = 6.4 mm
Image Sources: See Notes 4 and 5
11

Image Source Notes
1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  Public domain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Einsteinformal_portrait-35.jpg Creative Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atom_diagram.png Creative Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Helium_atom_QM.svg GNU license: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AmFBfield.svg Creative Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ballpoint-penparts.jpg