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HSC Physics Option Topic

From QUANTA to QUARKS


What is this topic about?
To keep it as simple as possible, (K.I.S.S.) this topic involves the study of:
1. RUTHERFORD & BOHR MODELS OF THE ATOM
2. DE BROGLIE & MATTER WAVES
3. INTO THE NUCLEUS
4. APPLICATIONS OF NUCLEAR PHYSICS
...all in the context of the history, nature and practice of Physics.

1. RUTHERFORD & BOHR MODELS OF THE ATOM


What Has Gone Before...

The Rutherford Model of the Atom

The entire Science of Chemistry and much of


Physics is built on the foundation of Atomic
Theory... the concept that all matter is
composed of atoms.

In 1911, Ernest Rutherford carried out an


experiment which indicated that the positively
charged part of an atom must be concentrated
into a tiny nucleus, with the electrons orbiting
around it.

Initially conceived as tiny, unbreakable particles


of matter, by the beginning of the 20th century it
became apparent that the atom was composed
of smaller parts.
+
-

Rutherfords
ATOM

Atom mostly
empty space

In his famous experiment with


cathode rays, J.J.Thomson had
discovered the (negatively charged)
electrons in all atoms.

Nucleus of positively
charged matter,
possibly made up of
of particles

This meant that there also had to


be a positive part of each atom.

Rutherfords model
proposed that:
At the centre is a tiny, dense nucleus with a
positive electrical charge.
The negatively charged electrons orbit around
the nucleus.
The distance from nucleus to the electron
orbits is very large compared to the size of the
particles, so the atom is mostly empty space.

In 1900, Max Plank had proposed the Quantum


Theory to explain the details of the Black Body
Radiation Curves.
In 1905, Einstein then explained the strange
phenomenon of the Photoelectric Effect by
using Planks quantum idea. He proposed that
light is not just a wave, nor a stream of particles,
but made up of wave packets.
Light is NOT a stream of particles...

Since negative charge was carried by particles


(the electrons) Rutherford thought it likely that
the nucleus was made of positive particles.
These were soon called protons and their
existence was confirmed a few years later.

Light is NOT a wave...

Light is a stream of wave packets... PHOTONS

The electrons were too light to account for much


of the mass of an atom, so he thought the
protons must be relatively heavy.

Each photon is both a particle AND a wave!

Even at this early stage there was speculation


that there might be another massive particle in
the nucleus as well, but its discovery had to wait
20 years.

Einstein also proposed his Theory of


Relativity in 1905. Classical Physics was being
turned upside-down by this sequence of new,
fundamental discoveries.
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Electrons in orbit
around central
nucleus

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Problems with Rutherfords Atom

Practical Work

Even as he proposed his atomic model, Rutherford


knew there was a problem with it.

Emission Spectrum of Hydrogen


You will have observed the emission spectrum
for hydrogen by using a spectrometer to view the
light from a discharge tube filled with lowpressure hydrogen gas.

The existing theory of Electromagnetic Radiation


(EMR) contained the concept that if an electrically
charged particle was accelerating, then it must emit
EMR, in the form of light waves.

High Voltage

from induction coil

Tube filled with Hydrogen gas

Since Rutherfords electrons were imagined to be in


circular orbits around the nucleus, and since circular
motion involves constant (centripital) acceleration,
then it follows that each electron should be
constantly emitting light. Trouble is... they obviously
dont!
Existing accepted theory
required that an orbiting
electron should emit light
energy continuously.
Obviously they dont,
or all matter would
constantly glow with light.
However, atoms DO emit
light if stimulated with energy, such as
in a high-v
voltage discharge tube.

light
emission
from
electrons

Optical
viewing system

Telescope can be
rotated to view the
different lines of the
emission spectrum

Tube glows
with emitted
light

The Balmer Series &


Rhydberg Equation
The lines in the emission spectrum of hydrogen
had been discovered some 20 years before
Rutherfords work, and were known as the
Balmer Series.

white light is
a mixture of
wavelengths
different
wavelengths
spread out to
form a spectrum

(use
your
imagination...
we cant print colours)

Each line was given a name (H, H, H & H) and


the precise wavelength of each had been
measured. Other similar series of lines were
known to exist in the invisible infra-red and ultra
violet parts of the EMR spectrum.

Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue

No-one could explain them, but mathematicians


Balmer and (later) Rhydberg had worked out that
the exact wavelengths of the hydrogen spectrum
lines could be calculated from an empirical
equation:

Violet

If the light emitted by atoms of a


particular element is put through a prism, the
spectrum shows very narrow bright lines on a
dark background because only certain
wavelengths are given out. The pattern of lines
is characteristic for each element.
Element
B

Light is only
emitted at
certain
precise
wavelengths

Prism

Each line is one single wavelength of light.

You should be familiar with the idea of a


spectrum of light. For example, if white light
is passed through a prism, the different
wavelengths are separated, and the familiar
rainbow colours appear.

Each line is
light of one
exact wavelength.

Spectroscope

You will have seen that the light from a hydrogen


discharge tube is composed of 4 visible bright
lines of light.

Emission Spectra

Element
A

Slit & lens

The Rhydberg Equation


2

= wavelength of the spectral line (in metres)


RH = the Rhydberg constant = 1.097 x 107
nf = an integer number. For the Balmer series nf = 2
ni = an integer number. To calculate the wavelengths
of the 4 lines of the Balmer series, ni takes the
values 3, 4, 5 or 6.

Each
element
has its own
unique set
of spectral
lines

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1 = RH( 1/nf - 1/ni )

Element
C

The fact that the Rhydberg equation worked was strong


evidence that there was an underlying law controlling
the hydrogen spectral lines. The fact that a series of
integer numbers were involved was a clue that
connected the whole thing to Planks Quantum Theory...

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Planks Quantum Theory

Neils Bohr Puts It All Together

A quick revision of what you learned previously...

Bohr used Planks Quantum Theory to modify the


Rutherford model of the atom in such a way that:

In 1900, Max Plank proposed a radical new theory


to explain the black body radiation. He found that
the only way to explain the exact details coming
from the experiments, was that the energy was
quantised: emitted or absorbed in little packets
called quanta (singular quantum).

the problem of radiation that should be emitted


constantly from accelerating electrons was
overcome.
the underlying reasons for emission spectra were
explained.
the empirical nature of the Rhydberg Equation was
given theoretical backing and mathematical validity.
the reasons for the valency of different atoms, and
how and why they combine in fixed ratios
became clearer.

The existing theories of classical Physics


assumed that the amount of energy carried
(say) by a light wave could have any value, on a
continuous scale. Planks theory was that the
energy could only take certain values, based on
units or quanta of energy.

Not bad for an afternoons work!


(The last point above is fundamental to Chemistry and
understanding chemical bonding and formulas. It will
not be pursued any further in this topic)

Plank proposed that the amount of energy carried


by a quantum of light is related to the frequency
of the light, and can be calculated as follows:

Bohrs Postulates
Electrons revolve only in certain allowed orbits.
Bohr theorised that there are a series of orbits, at
fixed distances from the nucleus, in which an electron
will not constantly emit radiation as demanded by
classical theory.
(Why was explained later by de Broglie)

E = h.f
E = energy of a quantum, in joules ( J)
h = Planks constant, value 6.63x10-34

f = frequency of the wave, in hertz (Hz)

Allowed orbit
positions.
Electrons cannot orbit
anywhere else.

You are reminded also, of the wave equation:

V = .f (or, for light) c = .f


8

Electrons can jump


from one orbit to
another, but must
absorb energy to jump
higher, or emit energy
to drop lower.

-1

c = velocity of light (in vacuum) = 3.00x10 ms .

= wavelength, in metres (m).


f = frequency, in hertz (Hz)

1
2
3

Example Calculation
a) Use the Rhydberg Equation to find the
wavelength of the H line of the hydrogen
spectrum, given that nf= 2 and ni = 6.
2

Electrons gain or lose energy to jump between


orbits. To jump up to a higher orbit, an electron must
gain a certain quantity of energy. If it drops back to
lower orbit, it must emit that exact same amount of
energy.

1 = RH( 1/nf - 1/ni )

= 1.097x107( 1/22 - 1/62 )

1/ = 2.438 x 106
= 4.10x10-7 m

Quantum numbers of
the orbits.

These quantities of energy are quantised, so each


orbit is really a quantum energy level within the
atom.

(410 nm nanometres)

b) Use the Wave Equation to find the


frequency.
c = .f
3.00x108 = 4.10 x10-7x f
f = 3.00x108/4.10x10-7
= 7.32x1014Hz.

The amount of energy absorbed or emitted during a


jump is defined by Planks Equation E = hf, and the
corresponding wavelengths of light are defined by
the Rhydberg Equation. The integer numbers nf and ni
turn out to be the quantum numbers of the orbits,
counting outwards from the nucleus.

c) Use Planks Equation to calculate the


energy carried by one photon of light in the H
spectral line.
E = h.f
= 6.63x10-34 x 7.32x1014
= 4.85x10-19 J.

Electrons in allowed orbits have quantised amounts


of angular momentum too.
Bohr figured out that the amount of angular momentum
possessed by an electron must always be a multiple of
h/2. The significance of this will be dealt with in a later
section.

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Bohr & the Balmer Series

Limitations of the
Rutherford-Bohr Model

Lets see how Bohrs ideas work with regard to the


Balmer Series of hydrogen emission lines.

Despite the way that Bohrs Postulates seem to solve


the problem with Rutherfords brilliant new concept of
the atom, there were still unexplained difficulties.

Bohr suggested that the H emission line was due to


an electron dropping from the 3rd orbit down to the
2nd orbit. It must lose a precise quantum of energy,
so it emits a photon of light at a precise frequency
given by E = hf.

Bohr Model worked only for Hydrogen


Hydrogen is the simplest atom, with only one
electron and one proton.

In the Rhydberg Equation, ni = 3 and nf = 2. The


calculated wavelength () agrees perfectly with the
observed spectral line. Planks Quantum Equation
calculates the energy of that photon of light.

Attempts to apply the model to larger atoms


failed, because multiple, orbiting electrons
interact with each other as well as the nucleus,
and the situation becomes too complex to
describe in a simple mathematical way.

Bohr argued that this amount of energy must


represent the difference in energy level from orbit 2
to orbit 3.

Different Intensities of Spectral Lines

The other lines of the Balmer Series represent


electrons dropping from higher orbits into the 2nd
orbit:
H line. ni = 3 )
Increasing energy
nf = 2
difference gives
H line. ni = 4 )
in each case
higher frequency
H line. ni = 5 )
(and shorter wavelength)
of spectral light
H line. ni = 6 )
It all worked! Bohrs idea gave a theoretical
explanation for the Rhydberg Equation, which had
been empirically derived to explain the observed
spectral lines.
6

light photon emitted

The different spectral lines showed different


intensities or brightness. This means that some
orbital jumps by electrons always occur more
often than others. Bohrs model had no
explanation as to why.

Hyperfine Spectral Lines


When the spectral lines were examined more
closely, each one was found to be made up of a
number of very fine lines close together.
view
ed
nifi
g
a
M

H line. ni = 6
H line. ni = 5

H line. ni = 4

Spectral line
is made up of
a number of
separate,
finer lines

H line. ni = 3

2
1

Nucleus

Quantum energy
levels or allowed
orbits around the
hydrogen atom

Spectral lines are of


different brightness

The Zeeman Effect


When a discharge tube is operated within a magnetic
field, each spectral line is split up into several
separate lines.

The Hydrogen Spectrum &


Development of Bohrs Model
Without a knowledge of the emission spectrum of
hydrogen, it seems very unlikely that Bohr could have
come up with his idea.

This, and the presence of the hyperfine lines,


suggested that the energy levels or orbits were
divided into a number of sub-orbits of slightly
different energy. Bohrs model had no explanation for
this.

The fact that the spectrum shows distinct lines, and


that integer numbers are involved in the Rhydberg
Equation, all pointed to some kind of discrete,
quantised atomic arrangement, rather than the moreor-less random orbits of Rutherford. Without
knowledge of the hydrogen spectrum, (and Planks
Quantum Theory) Bohr could not have made the
(literally) quantum leap to his idea.

Like all scientific models, the Rutherford-Bohr atom


is a human attempt to explain the observed facts of
nature. In its day, this model was the best explanation
available, but it was recognised that certain facts
remained unexplained.

Like all great scientists, Bohr built on the knowledge


discovered by others. His genius was to put it all
together in a new synthesis, that helped establish
Rutherfords new structure of the atom.

This doesnt make the model wrong... simply


incomplete. It was a work-in-progress, to be added
to and refined by later scientists. This is the way
Science works.

However, there were still some problems...

If further evidence had proven it totally wrong (as can


happen) you would not be studying it!

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Summary Worksheet for Section 1 is at the end of the next section


Worksheet 1

Test Questions

section 1

Student Name...............................

1.
Sketch a labelled diagram to show the main
features of Rutherfords atomic model.

5.
The H spectral line for hydrogen is due to an
electron dropping from the 5th to the 2nd orbit.
Compared to the H line (in Q3):
a) would a photon of the H line carry more, less,
or the same amount of energy? Explain.

2.
Outline the major problem with Rutherfords
atomic model, based on the accepted theory of
that time.

b) would the H line have a higher, lower, or the


same frequency? Explain.

c) would the H line have a longer, shorter, or


the same wavelength? Explain.
3.
a) What is the Balmer Series?
6.
a) List, in brief form, 3 of Bohrs Postulates.

b) Calculate the wavelength of the H spectral


line for hydrogen, given that ni = 4 and nf = 2.

b) List, in brief form, 4 limitations of the Bohr


model.

c) Use the wave equation, and Planks equation


to find the amount of energy carried by one
photon of the H line.

d) According to Bohr, what does this amount of


energy represent within a hydrogen atom?

7.
It is known that other spectral lines for hydrogen
are present in the infra-red and ultra-violet parts
of the spectrum. One line, for example, is due to
electrons dropping from the 8th to the 1st orbit.
Calculate the wavelength of this spectral line
and state if it is infra-red or ultra violet.

4.
Analyse the significance of the hydrogen
spectrum in the development of Bohrs atomic
model.

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2. DE BROGLIE & MATTER WAVES


Impact of de Broglies Hypothesis

de Broglies Quantum Proposal

De Broglies proposals had almost no impact on


the scientific community at first. His
mathematics were checked and found to be
totally correct. His hypothesis was totally
consistent with the Quantum Theory, and with
the Bohr model.

Remember that in 1905 Einstein had explained


the Photoelectric Effect by suggesting that light
has both wave and particle properties. (For this
he was awarded the Nobel Prize)
Light is a stream of wave packets... PHOTONS

The physicists of the day, including Plank,


Einstein, Rutherford and Bohr were all very
interested by his work, but it was just a neat
mathematical exercise, without any evidence
based in experiment or observation.

Each photon is both a particle AND a wave!

Einstein had used Planks Quantum Theory to


explain a phenomenon that classical Physics
was unable to explain.

Usually, scientists observe a phenomenon and


then try to explain it by theory. de Broglie was
putting theory first, without any facts to explain!

In 1924, a young graduate student Louis de


Broglie turned this concept around...

If light waves can have particle-like


properties, why cant particles have
wave-like properties?

Eventually, (as happens in Science) an


experiment was done to test the hypothesis.
Before learning about that, you need to
understand an important wave phenomenon...

Using Quantum Theory and Bohrs atomic


model, de Broglie developed a mathematical
model for an electron in orbit around the
nucleus acting as a particle with wave
properties.

Diffraction
Waves can undergo various wave phenomena
such as reflection, refraction and interference.
In fact, it is these things which can identify
waves. For example, it was interference which
allowed Hertz to prove the existence of invisible
radio waves back in the 1880s.

De Broglie began from Bohrs equations which


showed that (as a particle) the angular
momentum of the electron would be a multiple
of h/2.

Diffraction is something that only waves do.


Barrier

From this he was able to show that (when


showing its wave properties) the electron would
have a wavelength related to its mass and
velocity:

with gaps in it

Parallel wave
fronts
approach the
barrier.

= h
mv

Most of the
wave energy
will be
absorbed or
reflected.

= wavelength (metres) of the electron.


h = Planks constant (= 6.63x10-34) -31
m = mass of the electron (= 9.11x10 kg)
v = velocity of the electron, in ms-1.

The part of the


wave which gets
through a gap
will act like a
point source of
waves. A semicircular wave
pattern forms
from each gap.
This is
Diffraction

Example Calculation
Find the wavelength of an electron which is
5
-1
travelling at a velocity of 4.35x10 ms .
Solution

= h
mv

You can see diffraction occur if you watch water


waves enter a harbour or similar.

= 6.63x10-34/(9.11x10-31 x 4.35x105)
= 1.67x10-9 m
(1.67 nanometres)

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At this point you might think so what?


The so what is what happens AFTER
diffraction occurs...
6

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Davisson & Germers Experiment

Diffraction Forms
Interference Patterns

Davisson and Germer used a modified cathode ray


tube to test de Broglies hypothesis.

Once a set of waves have been diffracted, the 2


(or more) sets of spreading waves now meet
each other and wave interference occurs:

A beam of electrons travelling through a vacuum was


allowed to strike a crystal of nickel, specially
prepared so that electrons would reflect from parts of
it. Different parts of the beam could then overlap their
pathways as they travelled into a detection device
which could measure the intensity of the beam.

If the waves are in phase (crest matches crest) the


waves
add together for double the amplitude

Result?
An interference pattern was detected! This proved
that electrons have wave properties, and confirmed
the de Broglie hypothesis.

Constructive
interference

If the waves are out of phase (crest matches


trough) the waves cancel for zero amplitude

Why Are the Bohr Orbits Stable?


A quick review of some important points:
Rutherfords atomic model places electrons in orbit,
but classical theory predicts they should constantly
be emitting light because they are accelerating.

Destructive
interference

However, this isnt happening, so Bohr proposes that


there are allowed, stable orbits where electrons
dont constantly give off light. (They only radiate
when they jump orbits)

If light waves are diffracted, then projected onto


a screen, or captured on photographic film, an
interference pattern appears... perhaps a line of
light spots (where waves add together
constructively) and dark zones (where waves
are cancelling). The exact appearance of the
pattern depends on the geometry of the slits
and the wavelength of the waves.

Beam of light striking a


barrier with slits in it

What makes these allowed orbits stable?

de Broglies particle-wave theory of the electron


explains:

Light falling on
screen or photo film
shows a pattern of
light and dark spots

An allowed orbit is where the wavelength of the


electron exactly fits to form a standing wave
around the nucleus.

+
Light spot
where waves
add together

Standing waves are a well-known wave


phenomenon in which an exact number of full
wavelengths can resonate or reverberate in a
stable way. For example, all musical instruments
involve standing waves of sound energy in a
string or air space.

Dark zone
where waves
cancel

The allowed orbits around an atom are located


at distances from the nucleus which allow the
quantum energy of the electron to fit in an exact
number of wavelengths to form a standing wave.

Diffracting waves form


Interference Patterns

Can you guess whats coming?

At any other distance, the orbit cannot fit a


standing wave with an exact number of
wavelengths, so the electron cannot exist there.

de Broglie has proposed an hypothesis that


electrons may have wave properties.
What should a good scientist do?
Test the hypothesis by experiment, of course!

The electron is a particle, with mass and


momentum. It is also a wave, with a wavelength
= h/mv) and capable of diffraction,
(
interference and standing wave behaviour.
Welcome to the world of Quantum Physics!

How do you test for wave properties?


Test electrons to see if they show
Diffraction & Interference Patterns, of course!
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An electron
forms a
Standing
Wave
around the
nucleus

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The Contributions of Heisenburg & Pauli


Before you leave the electron orbits and dive into the atomic nucleus,
the syllabus asks you to assess the contributions of 2 other great scientists.

If you think you understand


Quantum Theory...
then you really dont
understand Quantum Theory!

Werner Heisenberg (1901-76)


was a German physicist who is best
remembered for the
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle,
for which he was awarded the
Nobel Prize in 1932.
Heisenberg developed the mathematical
framework for Quantum Mechanics. He showed
that the dual nature of the particle-wave which
describes the electron (and the light photon),
makes it impossible to know everything about
any particle at any moment. Either you know
where it is, or you know how much momentum
it has, but you cannot know both things at once
with any certainty.
This uncertainty about things at the atomic
scale was described by Heisenberg as
mathematical probabilities. Thus an electron
orbit becomes a region of probability in which
there is a good chance (but not a certainty)
that the electron exists.

Wolfgang Pauli (1900-58)


was born in Austria, but became an American
citizen. He is best remembered for the
Pauli Exclusion Principle, (Nobel Prize 1945)
which states that 2 electrons in the same
atom cannot have exactly the
same quantum state.
His mathematical analysis established the
idea that the Bohr-de Broglie orbits are just
one of several different types of quantum
properties that electrons can have.
This gives rise to the idea of sub-orbits
within an atom (this explains the hyperfine
lines in emission spectra) and shows why 2
electrons with almost the same quantum
state, but opposite spin
will tend to pair up. (Hence Cooper Pairs,
and electron pairs in chemical bonding.)

This all sounds very airy-fairy, but its validity


has been spectacularly confirmed by many
experiments and phenomena such as the
quantum tunnelling effect, involved in
semiconductor operation and electrical
superconductivity.

Later in this topic you will see that Pauli


also made an important contribution
to understanding nuclear processes as well.

An Assessment
In the 1920s, Quantum Theory was being accepted as a necessary evil to
satisfactorily describe the structure of an atom, and
account for all the known observations.
However, the explanations being used were a mixture of new quantum ideas
overlaid on a framework of classical Physics, so it was all rather
artificial or contrived.
It was the theoretical work of Heisenberg & Pauli that built Quantum
Mechanics into a complete, new branch of Physics without the
need for any reference to the old Physics.
Therefore, their contributions must be seen as being very important.
Although the details of their work are beyond the scope of this course, they
allowed Physics to become a fully modern study with a complete theoretical
base which can explain atoms, super-conductivity, semi-conductors, nuclear
processes and even the creation of the Universe itself.
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Worksheet 2

Rutherford-Bohr Model of the Atom

Fill in the blank spaces

Student Name..........................................

Rutherfords model of the atom:


in the centre is a tiny, dense a).............................
Electrons (discovered by b)................................)
are in c)................................ around the outside.
The model had a major problem: theoretically,
electrons which are d)................................ should
constantly emit e)...................................., causing
all matter to constantly f)....................... with light.

Electrons can q).............................. from one


orbit to another. When they do so they must
r)............................ or ..................................... an
amount of energy. This energy difference
relates to the s)................................ of a spectral
line in accord with t)...........................s Quantum
Theory and the u).................................. equation.
Electrons in v)............................... orbits have
a quantity of w)...................................... which is
always a multiple of h/2.

The g)....................................................... of an
element refers to the precise set of
h).................................... of light emitted if the
element is energised, for example, in a
i).............................................................. The lines
are visible if the light is viewed through a
j)...................................................

Bohr was able to link his idea to the Balmer


Series of hydrogen spectral lines. In fact, it is
highly unlikely he could have developed his
idea without this evidence.
However, the Bohr model had a number of
limitations:
It worked only for x).............................................
It could not explain the different
y)...................................... of the spectral lines.
There was evidence from the z).........................
Effect, and the observed aa).............................
spectral lines, that each orbit was actually
ab)......................... ..................................................
The model could not explain these
observations.

The visible lines in the spectrum of


k)................................. had been named the
l).................................
Series,
and
the
m)........................................ equation had been
formulated to calculate the n).................................
of each of the lines in the series.
Bohr used the evidence of the Balmer Series to refine
Rutherfords atomic model. He suggested that:

Electrons o).........................................................,
in which they will not p).........................................

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Worksheet 3

de Broglie & Matter Waves

Fill in the blank spaces

Student Name..........................................
They detected an l).............................. pattern
which proved that the electrons were
undergoing m)................................. This proved
that electrons do have n)..................... properties,
and confirmed de Broglies hypothesis.

Louis de Broglie argued that if Einsteins


photons of light are waves with a)........................
properties,
then
electrons
could
be
b)....................... with c)....................... properties.
He extended Bohrs model to derive an equation
for the d).............................. (wave measurement)
of the electron. Bohrs allowed orbits were
explained as e)....................................... waves,
with an integer number of f)..................................
fitting exactly around that orbit.

o).............................. is a wave phenomenon in


which waves which penetrate a small aperture,
then act like a point source of waves and
p)........................ in a q)..........................................
pattern. When waves from 2 (or more) apertures
overlap, they r).................................... with each
other. Where crest meets crest the waves
s)................... ........................... creating a higher
t).................................... wave. Where crest meets
trough, the waves u)........................ each other.
With light, this results in a pattern of
v)......................... and ................................. spots.

De Broglies hypothesis had g)..............................


impact on the scientific community. It seemed
an interesting idea, but there was no
h)............................... from observations or
i)................................... to connect it to.
Two
scientists,
j)...........................
&
............................ carried out an experiment in
which a beam of k)............................... was aimed
at a crystal.

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Following the confirmation of de Broglies


theory, the science of Quantum Mechanics was
given a complete theoretical framework by the
work of Werner w)....................................... and
Wolfgang x)...............................
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Worksheet 4

Test Questions

section 2

Student Name...............................
4.
Explain how de Broglie would describe Bohrs
allowed orbits around the nucleus.

1.
Use de Broglies equation to calculate:
a) the wavelength of an electron with velocity
2.25x106 ms-1 (mass of electron = 9.11x10-31kg)

5.
a) What is diffraction?
b) the velocity of an electron if its quantum
wavelength is 4.75x10-9m.

b) The diagram shows a breakwall with parallel


water waves approaching. There are 3 boat
channels through the wall. Complete the
diagram showing the pattern of the waves which
go through the boat channels.

c) Use the wave equation to find the quantum


frequency of the electron in (b).

Water waves striking a


breakwall with 3 boat channels

d) Use Planks equation to calculate the


quantum energy of the electron in (b).

2.
Describe the impact of de Broglies proposal
that particles could have wave properties.
Account for this reaction by the scientific
community.

6.
Assess the contribution of Heisenberg & Pauli
to the development of atomic theory.

3.
Outline the experiment of Davisson & Germer.
State the result of the experiment and explain
the significance of this result.

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3. INTO THE NUCLEUS


Nucleons

Discovery of the Neutron

A nucleon means any particle located in the


nucleus of an atom. We now know that there are 2
types of nucleon:

The existence of the neutron was proven in 1932


by James Chadwick (1891-1974).

Protons

It was impossible then to detect and measure


neutrons directly. The method Chadwick used
relied upon neutrons colliding with other
particles, then applying the scientific principles
of Conservation of Energy and Conservation of
Momentum to measure the properties of the
neutron.
Beryllium
Paraffin Wax

The existence of protons was considered likely


almost as soon as the electron was discovered. By
the 1920s the proton had been positively identified,
and its properties measured.

Neutrons

target

As early as 1907 it had been suggested that protons


alone were not sufficient to account for the mass of
most atoms. It was suspected that there must be
another nucleon, with considerable mass, but no
electric charge. However, it was 25 years before the
neutrons existence was proven.

Proton

Neutron

+1.602x10-19C

Mass

1.673x10

-27

kg

n0

Detecting
equipment

Radioactive
substance
emitting
-p
particles

Contrasting the Properties of the Nucleons

Electrical
Charge

target

The alpha () particles emitted by a radioactive


substance were used to bombard a beryllium
target.

0 (neutral)
1.675x10-27kg

The beryllium emitted neutrons, which (having


no electrical charge) are very penetrating and
are unaffected by electric or magnetic fields, so
could not be measured or studied directly. Other
scientists had thought the radiation was gamma
( ) waves of extreme high energy.

Note that:
The charge on a proton is exactly the same
magnitude, but of opposite sign to that carried by an
electron.
In a normal atom:
No. of protons = No. of electrons = Atomic No.

Some of the neutrons then hit a second target


of paraffin wax, which has a lot of hydrogen in it.
Occasionally a neutron collision would dislodge
a proton.

Protons and neutrons have almost identical


masses. (The neutron is slightly heavier)
Both are almost 2,000 times heavier than an electron,
so virtually all the mass of an atom is in the nucleus.
No.protons + No.neutrons = Atomic Mass Number

Chadwick was able to study some of these


protons and measure the energy they carried.

Thus we get the familiar atomic model, with


electrons (in Bohrs allowed orbits) around a
nucleus of protons and neutrons.

Chadwick could then apply the principles of


Conservation of Momentum and Energy to
calculate the mass and velocity of whatever had
hit the protons and dislodged them.

MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE SHORTHAND DESCRIPTION

The results indicated the presence of a particle


(not -rays) with a mass almost the same as a
proton, and no electric charge. This matched
perfectly with the (then hypothetical) neutron,
so the existence of the missing nucleon was
confirmed.

For example:
Sodium atom
electrons = 11
protons = 11
neutrons = 12

Na
11
23

Background Information
Radioactivity had been discovered in 1896.
Although it was not fully understood, the use of
-p
particles as atomic bullets in experiments
had become quite routine.

Total nucleons = 23
(protons + neutrons)
Atomic Mass Number = 23

After Chadwicks experiment, the neutron


became the next bullet of choice.

Atomic Number = 11

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Transmutation

It would be wise to revise...

To transmute something means to change


it into a different form or substance.

See Preliminary Topic Cosmic Engine


to revise the properties of , & radiation.

In Nuclear Physics, Transmutation refers to an


atom changing into an atom of a different element,
by undergoing a nuclear reaction.

Transmutations occur during:


radioactive decay of natural or artificial radioisotopes.
nuclear fission in a nuclear power station, or atom bomb.
nuclear fusion in the stars, and in a hydrogen bomb.

Radioactivity
Some naturally-occurring atoms have a nucleus which is unstable and will
spontaneously undergo transmutation to change into a more stable form.
During the reaction, a variety of radiations are emitted from the nucleus.
There are several different reactions which can occur;
knowledge of only the 2 most common reactions is required by the syllabus.

Beta ( ) Decay

Alpha ( ) Decay

Some atomic nuclei, of any size, have an


unstable mix of protons and neutrons. If there is
an excess of neutrons, a neutron can be turned
into a proton plus an electron.

Alpha decay occurs in atoms which have a very


large nucleus and are unstable. To achieve
greater
stability,
the
nucleus
may
spontaneously eject an alpha particle to carry
away excess mass and energy.

1
0

Example:
Uranium is well known as a radioactive
substance, and nuclear fuel for nuclear
reactors and bombs. Its most common isotope
is U-238, meaning it has a mass number of 238.
It decays as follows:
238

U
92

Uranium-2
238

234

Th
90

4
2

He

Alpha
particle

Thorium-2
234

Note that the Mass No.


always decreases by 4,
and the Atomic No. by 2

+ n
n+

Gamma
ray also
emitted in
most
cases

88

Ra

86

Rn

4
2

He

14
6

Electron

Proton

14

N
7

Nitrogen

0
-1
1

e-

-p
particle

Gamma ray

Once again Transmutation has occurred.


+

In many cases of beta-decay there is a gamma


ray emitted as well.

Note that the Mass Numbers and Atomic


Numbers ALWAYS BALANCE across the
equation.

Hint: Use the Periodic Table to find Atomic


Numbers and identify names and symbols.
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-1
1

e-

The result is that:


Number of neutrons decreases by 1.
Number of protons increases by 1.
(This means Atomic Number goes up by 1
but Atomic Mass Number does not change)
The electron is ejected from the nucleus at
high speed. This is the Beta particle... a high
speed electron.

Carbon

222

Example
Carbon-14 is a well-known radioisotope which
decays:

Example 2
Radium-226 transmutes by alpha decay:
226

p+

How can this happen? It seems like magic, but it


shows what a strange place the quantum world
is. Some detail on how such things can happen
will be covered later; for now you must accept
that it actually happens.

The -p
particle
consists of
2 protons &
2 neutrons.
It is the nucleus
of a Helium atom

The Uranium atom has


TRANSMUTED
into a different element

Neutron

n0

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Pauli and the Neutrino


To have avoided detection, this hypothetical
particle must have no mass (or so little that it
was not measurable) and no electric charge.
However, it could carry quantum energy. Paulis
idea was that there was a certain total energy
involved in b-decay; some was carried off by the
beta particle, the rest by the mystery particle.

It was known that the electrons ejected


during Beta decay varied considerably
in their velocity, and the amount of
energy they carried. This was puzzling,
because it was thought that the process
involved was the same in every -decay,
so why did the energy vary?

Enrico Fermi did the mathematics and


the whole scenario worked so well in
theory that the scientific community
accepted the new particle, even though
it was not positively detected and
identified until 1956.

In 1931, Wolfgang Pauli suggested a


quantum explanation.
What if there was another particle being
produced, that no-one had detected?
This missing particle could carry
away some of the energy in varying
amounts.
neutron

proton

-p
particle
(electron)

This new particle was eventually


christened the neutrino (little neutral
one) and is now a totally accepted fact
of the sub-atomic quantum world. In
fact, there are a whole family of
neutrinos; to keep it simple (KISS
Principle!) the one released in beta
decay is an anti-neutrino.

The sum of the


energy of the beta
particle and
neutrino always
adds up to the
same amount.

The symbol used for the anti-neutrino is


. The full equation for a beta decay is
therefore:
14

anti
neutrino

Carbon

14
7

Nitrogen

0
-1
1

e-

Gamma
anti
particle neutrino

What Holds the Nucleus Together?


This question had been asked as soon as
Rutherford had proposed that atoms have a
nucleus. There were just 2 forces then understood,
which could be operating in the nucleus:

Since the nucleus does exist, and doesnt


instantly explode, it was realized that there must
be another force operating. It was called simply
the Strong Nuclear Force.

Gravity

Its properties could be inferred and calculated:


It must be much stronger than the protonproton electrostatic repulsion. (its over 100X
stronger)

All masses attract all other masses by gravity.


This would attract all nucleons to each other.

Electrostatic Forces

It must be independent of charge and attract


all nucleons... protons & neutrons.

All charged particles exert a force on other


charged particles. This force would not act on
neutrons, but should cause protons to be
repelled by other protons.

It must be extremely short-ranged, operating


only across the tiny distances of the nucleus.
(Otherwise it might cause neighbouring atomic
nuclei to fuse together, and eventually pull all
matter into one lump!) Even before its existence
was proven, the Strong Nuclear Force was
known to exist, and scientists began
speculating on how to tap into its enormous
energy potential...

Calculations showed that the


electrostatic repulsion would be much,
much stronger than gravity. The
nucleus should instantly fly apart!

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Measuring Mass & Energy in the Nucleus


Before going any further, you need to know about the commonly used methods of
measuring mass and energy at the atomic level.

Mass in Atomic Mass Units

Energy in Electron-Volts

The atomic mass unit (u) is a measure of mass


devised for convenience in Chemistry. Roughly
speaking, both a proton and a neutron have a
mass of 1 u, although in the calculations
following, you need to be much more precise.
Obviously, 1 u is a very small mass:

The electron-volt (eV) is an energy unit that is


convenient because the energy of sub-atomic
particles has traditionally been measured by their
behaviour within electric fields.

-27

1 u = 1.661x10

1 eV is the energy gained by an electron accelerating


in an electric field with a potential difference of 1 volt.

1 eV is an extremely small amount of energy:

kg

1 eV = 1.602 x 10-19 joules of energy

You need to be able carry out calculations using


either unit, so the following data may be useful.

Proton
Mass (in kg)

1.673x10-27

Mass (in u)

1.0073

so the unit often used is the mega-electron-volt


(MeV)
1 MeV = 1x106 (one million) eV

Neutron
1.675x10-27

This is convenient when dealing with individual


atoms or particles.

1.0087

Mass Defect in the Nucleus


It was realized that incredibly powerful forces
were operating within the atomic nucleus. How
could such forces arise?

Example Calculation
A normal carbon atom contains 6 protons and 6
neutrons. (also 6 electrons, but mass is negligible)
The nucleus is known to have a mass = 11.9967 u
= 1.993x10-26 kg
Calculate the Mass Defect,
and total Binding Energy.

The answer lies in the fact that the mass of


every atomic nucleus (except hydrogen ) DOES
NOT ADD UP.

Solution

If you add up the mass of all the


protons+neutrons in any nucleus,

In kg and joules

In u and MeV

Mass of 6 protons
= 6 x 1.673x10-27
= 1.004x10-26 kg

the total is always more than the actual


measured mass of the whole nucleus.

Mass of 6 protons
= 6 x 1.0073
= 6.0438 u

Mass of 6 neutrons
Mass of 6 neutrons
= 6 x 1.675x10-27
= 6 x 1.0087
-26
= 1.005x10 kg
= 6.0522 u
Total particle mass
Total particle mass
-26
= 2.009x10 kg
= 12.0960 u
Mass defect
Mass defect
-26
-26
= 2.009x10 - 1.993x10
= 12.0960 -11.9967
= 1.600x10-28kg
= 0.0993 u

Mass of
Mass of
Protons + Neutrons > Whole Nucleus
This difference is called the Mass Defect. Its
as if a little bit of mass went missing when the
protons and neutrons joined together to form
the nucleus.

These are the same, just


different units

Where is the missing mass?


It has converted to energy...

E = mc2

This missing mass has


converted to binding
energy according to

(you should have known


that Einstein would be
involved sooner or later!)

E = mc2
= 1.6x10-28 x (3.00x108)2
= 1.44 x10-11J

...to provide the Binding Energy of the Strong


Nuclear Force which holds the nucleus
together.

These are the same, just


different units

Einstein had developed his most famous


equation as part of his Theory of Relativity. He
never anticipated that it would find another
use...
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Each 1 u converts to
931.5 MeV of energy
(This value is in your
Physics Data Table)
So, binding energy
= 0.0993 x 931.5
= 92.50 MeV

From here on, all calculations will be done in


atomic mass units (u) and MeV.

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The Manhattan Project

Nuclear Fission

Following a letter of concern (outlining the danger


of nuclear research in Nazi Germany) from Einstein to
the President of the USA , the top secret Manhattan
Project was set up in 1942. Its objective was to
research nuclear fission and develop an atomic
bomb if this was possible.

In the 1930s, it was discovered that bombarding


target atoms with alpha particles could
occasionally produce a transmutation to a new
radioactive isotope.
27
13

Al +

30

He

15

-particle

Aluminium

P +

new isotope
of phosphorus

1
0

The first step was to discover if a self-sustaining


chain-reaction of fissions was possible. Enrico Fermi
was appointed the leader of the scientific team. He
designed the reactor or nuclear pile, which was
built in a squash court at the University of Chicago.

neutron

In Italy, brilliant young physicist Enrico Fermi (190154) decided that using neutrons as atomic bullets
would be even more productive.

In December 1942 the reactor achieved the first selfsustaining, controlled chain reaction.

In 1934 he began bombarding every possible element,


in turn, with neutrons and studying the resulting
radioactivity to detect any new radioisotopes. Over 40
were discovered very quickly. For example:
19
9

Fluorine

20

n
0

The Fission Chain Reaction


Since fission is set off by a neutron, and since it
releases more neutrons, it follows that a chain
reaction can occur, in which each atom which splits
can set off more.

New, previously unknown


radioisotope of Fluorine

Neutron

In one experiment he bombarded uranium atoms with


neutrons, confidently expecting to produce atoms of
transuranic elements. The radiation signatures
detected were unexpected and puzzling, but he was
focused on other things and failed to investigate
further.

Start

Fermi had split the nucleus, but it was another 4


years before other scientists in Germany confirmed
what had happened. In his sample of uranium were
atoms of U-235 which had absorbed a neutron, then
totally disintegrated:
92
36
235
92

U+

Uranium

Kr

n
0

Neutron

Krypton
isotope

141
56

Ba

1
0

Barium
isotope

3 extra
neutrons
released.
These can
set off other
atoms in a
chain
reaction

This is Nuclear Fission; the splitting of the nucleus.,


with enormous energy release, due to a mass defect
and E=mc2.

In a critical mass of fissile atoms, if every fission


sets off (say) 2 more, then the chain reaction grows
exponentially within a fraction of a second. This is
uncontrolled fission, and results in a nuclear
explosion of devastating power... an atomic bomb.
If a neutron-absorbing material (such as cadmium) is
present, it is possible to absorb many of the neutrons
so that each fission sets off exactly one other. This is
controlled fission and is what Fermi achieved in his
pile in 1942, and what occurs in every nuclear
power station.

Meanwhile, Fermi had continued on with his work,


and was awarded the Nobel Prize of 1938 for his
production of new radioactive materials.
With war looming in Europe and a Fascist regime in
Italy, Fermi and his Jewish wife used attendance at
the Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden to flee to the
USA, where Fermi was immediately accepted into the
scientific community.

There are only 2 nuclei which will readily undergo


fission:
239
235
Pu
U
94
92
Plutonium-239 which can
Uranium-235
which
be made from U-238 by
occurs
naturally
in
neutron bombardment in
uranium ores, but in
a nuclear reactor.
very small amounts.

By then he was aware of nuclear fission and its huge


energy potential, and that the experiments confirming
fission had been done in Nazi Germany. On the eve of
World War II, it seemed that the knowledge to develop
an atom bomb was in the hands of the enemy.
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If the amount of fissile atoms is below a certain critical mass,


most neutrons escape without striking another nucleus, and the
sustaining and dies down.
chain reaction is not self-s

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Mass Defect During Nuclear Fission


The enormous energy released by nuclear fission is due to a mass defect
between the starting nucleus and the product nuclei.
Photo by
Daron Cooke

For example, in the fission of Uranium-235:


(Note: fission products can vary)
235
92

U+

U-2
235
mass
235.0439 u

1
0

neutron
mass
1.0087 u

148
57

La +

La-1
148
mass
147.8114 u

Total Mass before


Fission
236.0526 u

85
35

Br + 3

Br-8
85
mass
84.8917 u

1
0

3 neutrons
mass
3.0261 u

Total Mass after


Fission
235.7292

Mass Defect = (Mass Reactants - Mass Products)

This is the amount of energy generated by an


average size power station in about 30 years.

= 236.0526 - 235.7292 = 0.3234 u


Energy yield per fission:
Remember that
1u
of mass

The energy released


might seem a very
small amount, but this
is from just one atom.
In (say) 10kg of
uranium there are
about 2.5x1025 atoms.
Simulated
If all of these were to
Nuclear
undergo fission, the
Explosion
total energy released
would be about 1x1015
joules, all released
in a split second, in the case of an atom bomb.

This is the plutonium


fission bomb,
nicknamed Fat Boy,
which destroyed the city
of Nagasaki in 1945.

931.5 MeV
of energy

So, energy released = 0.3234 x 931.5


= 301.2 MeV
(This equates to about 5 x 10-11 joules of energy)

Practical Work

Observing Nuclear Radiations


You may have done practical work with one or more
methods of detecting and observing radiation from a
radioactive isotope.

Enrico Fermi
in 1943
working on
the
Manhattan
Project

The Wilson Cloud Chamber


is a simple device which allows the trails of alpha
particles to be seen.
Simple School
Cloud Chamber
Small chip of
radioactive
material

When you add up the total


mass of all the products of a
fission reaction, it is less
than the starting mass.

The tracks of
alpha particles
appear as thin
condensation
trails

The chamber is cooled with dry ice so that the


vapours within are on the point of condensation.
If a source of alpha particles is placed inside the
chamber, tiny tracks can be seen. An alpha particle
collides with air molecules and ionises millions of
them along its path. The ionised molecules serve as
sites of condensation, so a visible condensation
trail briefly shows the path of each alpha particle.

This mass defect has been


converted to energy.
E = mc2
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Worksheet 5

Into the Nucleus

Fill in the blank spaces

Student Name..........................................

Beta decay occurs when a neutron


converts to a x)............................... An
y).......................... is created as well, and
it is ejected from the nucleus at high
speed... the beta particle. The Atomic
Number
z)..........................................
while the Mass Number aa)...............
................. ..................

A nucleon refers to all the particles


a)......................................., and includes
b)........................ & ..................................
These are different in their properties in
that c).......................... are slightly
heavier, and d)........................... carry
e)................ electric charge.
The existence of the neutron had been
suspected, and was finally proven by
f)...................................... in 1932. When
g)...............-particles were smashed into
a beryllium target a penetrating
radiation was produced. Others had
thought it was h)........................ rays.
Chadwick allowed this radiation to
strike
a
second
target
of
i)..........................
This
dislodged
j)............................ which he could detect
and measure their energy. By applying
the principles of k)..............................
................................. he could calculate
the properties of the mystery
radiation. His results indicated a
l).............................. with mass similar to
m).................... but without n)...................
...............................

It was discovered that the beta particles


from
different
isotopes
carried
ab).................................... .......................
Pauli suggested this was because
ac)...........................................................
which shared the energy with the
electron. This particle is an ad)................
...........................
The nucleus is held together by the
ae)................................................ which
has to be much more powerful than the
af).......................................
between
protons.
It
acts
only
over
ag)........................
distances,
and
attracts all ah)......................... to each
other. The force arises from the Mass
ai)......................... of the nucleus. A
small amount of the mass has been
aj)........................ ................... according
to ak).................................(equation)

Transmutation refers to an atom


o)..................................................... when
it undergoes a p)...............................
reaction. This can occur during
q)....................................... decay, or
during nuclear r).......................... or
............................. (opposite processes).

Nuclear al).......................... occurs when


a
nucleus
is
struck
by
a
am).............................,
and
then
an).................. ................. It also releases
2 or 3 more ao)................................ which
can cause a ap)............................
Reaction to occur. During each fission
there is a large energy release due to
aq).............................................................

Alpha decay occurs in a nucleus which


is unstable because s)....................
................................ It ejects an alpha
particle (which is made up of t)................
......................................) so that the Mass
Number u)...................................... and
the Atomic Number v)....................
........................ There is usually emission
of w)............................. as well.

The first controlled fission reaction was


achieved in 1942 as part the secret
ar).................................... Project. The
reactor
was
designed
by
as)..................................................

COMPLETED WORKSHEETS
BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES
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Worksheet 6

Practice Problems

Nuclear Reactions
Alpha Decay Equations

Beta Decay Equations

Work out the missing nuclide, identifying


Mass Number & Atomic Number
Symbol & name

1. If each of the following nuclides underwent


beta decay, write the symbol, Mass Number &
Atomic Number of the new nuclide.

1.

222

Rn
86

Student Name..........................................

He

a) Iodine-131
b) Thorium-234

2.

3.

241

Am
95

210
84

Po

4
2

4
2

He

He

c) Hydrogen-3
d) Sodium-24

e) Uranium-239
4.

233

5.

210

Pa
91
Po
84

4
2

4
2

He

f) Cobalt-60

He

2. Write complete decay equations for the beta


decay of:
a) Lithium-8

b) Xenon-135
6. Write the equation for the alpha decay of
Actinium-227
c) Phosphorus-31
7. Write the equation for the alpha decay of
Plutonium-244
d) Chlorine-38

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Worksheet 7

Practice Problems

Mass Defect

Student Name..........................................

Use the data table at right.

Data for Calculations

For each of the following nuclear reactions


calculate:
a) the Mass Defect (u)
b) the energy released (MeV)

Nuclide

1.

9
4

Be +

4
2

12

He

C +

1
0

1
0
4

2
9
4
22
11
92
36
141
56
235

2.
235
92

U+

n
0

141
56

Ba +

92
36

92

Kr + 3

1
0

Nuclear Mass
(u)

Nuclide

1.0087

He

4.0026

Be

9.0122

Na

21.9780

Kr

91.8804

Ba

140.8167

235.0439

1.0073

Li

7.0160

1
3

12

11.9967

Mg

24.9575

Sr

91.8776

Ba

144.8115

Pu

239.0446

6
25
12
92
38
145
56
239
94

Nuclear Mass
(u)

n
4.
239
94

3.

Pu +

145

n
0

56

Ba +

92
38

Sr + 3 0 n

5.

Li +
3

1
1

4
2

He +

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2

22

He

11

19

Na +

4
2

He

25
12

Mg +

1
1

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Worksheet 8

Test Questions

section 3

1.
Outline Chadwicks experiment to
confirm the existence of the neutron,
and discuss the importance of
conservation laws in determining the
neutrons mass.

Student Name...............................
4.
Discuss why the neutrino was
invented (and by whom) and its
existence accepted, many years before
it was physically detected and proven to
exist.

2.
Account for the need for the strong
nuclear force and outline its
properties.
5.
a) Explain why a chain reaction of
fissions is possible.

3.
a) What is meant by the mass defect
of the nucleus?
b) Compare the requirements for
controlled and uncontrolled nuclear
fission.

b) Explain the connections between the


strong nuclear force, the mass defect,
and Einsteins equivalence of mass &
energy.

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4. APPLICATIONS OF NUCLEAR PHYSICS


Significance of the
Manhattan Project

Photo of
Horoshima a
few days after
the bomb.
Parts of the city
literally ceased
to exist.

Fermis first controlled fission chain reaction in 1942


was just the first step in one of the most significant
scientific research projects in human history.
Within 3 years, fission bombs were used to destroy
the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and
bring a sudden end to World War II.
The Manhattan Project brought the world into the
Atomic Age, with the following significant changes:
This ruined
building in
Horoshima,
Japan, has been
preserved as a
memorial to the
many thousands
who died in the
atom bomb
attacks in 1945

Technologies Developed
Nuclear power stations, currently meet about 20%
of the worlds energy needs. Fission power is
Greenhouse friendly, but presents the danger of
devastating accidents such as at Chernobyl (Ukraine)
in 1986. There are also great challenges in the safe
storage and disposal of radioactive wastes from
fission power stations.
Nuclear weapons proliferated during the 40 year
Cold War. On several occasions the world seemed
to be on the brink of a nuclear war which potentially
could have destroyed all human civilization.

Later in this section are more examples, and specific


details, of technologies which are based on Nuclear
Physics and are therefore a direct result of the
Manhattan Project.

Rockets were developed to deliver the nuclear


weapons, but the spin-off was their use for space
exploration and satellite technology. The modern
world relies heavily on satellites for communication,
commerce and finance as well as entertainment.

Nuclear Technologies have been widely considered


as having more risks and dangers than benefits.
However, there have also been many spin-offs
which have been highly beneficial to society.
Whatever your opinion, the Manhattan Project was
certainly one of the most significant scientific
research events in human history.

Nuclear Medicine includes all the ways that nuclear


technology is used for diagnosis and treatment of a
wide range of health problems, including cancer.
Even the humble smoke alarm in your home is
connected to nuclear technology. It contains a tiny
pellet of radioactive material (Am-241) manufactured
in a nuclear reactor.

As always, the Science (and the technology it leads


to) is neither good nor bad; that is determined by the
choices and decisions made by people.

Nuclear Physics is Still Investigating Matter


Project, and the Nuclear Age
Particle Accelerators

The Manhattan
all grew from research by scientists like
Chadwick and Fermi who wanted to find out
about the structure of atoms. They used alpha
particles and neutrons as bullets to probe the
nucleus to try to understand the fundamental
structure of matter.

are another tool of modern research.


A Particle Accelerator uses powerful electromagnets
to accelerate electrically charged particles through
huge circular tubes. Other electromagnets steer
and focus the beam of accelerating particles. At the
desired energy level, the particles are allowed to
collide head-on, or smash into their target. An array of
detection equipment studies the particle tracks and
radiation from the collision.

Well, guess what? Scientists are still doing exactly


that, and still using (essentially) the same technique.

Neutrons as Nuclear Probes

For example, the accelerator at C.E.R.N.


(underground on the French/Swiss border) is 27 km in
circumference, and accelerates particles to velocities
of 99.995% of the speed of light.

Neutrons are still used as probes because their


lack of electric charge allows them to penetrate
the nucleus more easily than a proton or alpha
particle. A beam of neutrons might be scattered
by a nucleus, or other particles may be ejected
from it. This allows scientists to study the
structure of the nucleus.
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At the end of the section is a brief summary of our


understanding of matter, as revealed by the atom
smashers.

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Nuclear Fission Reactors


The main peaceful use of nuclear fission technology is to operate controlled chain
reactions in a fission reactor, and use the energy released to make electricity.
There are many different designs. The following schematic diagram
shows the main features of all fission power stations
Moderator

(usually graphite or heavy water)


The reactor pile is made of a
moderator substance which slows
down the neutrons. This increases
the likelihood of each neutron
causing a fission in the next
nucleus it hits.
(fast neutrons tend to pass through
without causing a fission)

Control Rods are made of


cadmium or boron which absorbs neutrons.
Lowering them into the pile slows the chain
reaction; raising them speeds it up.
In an emergency, they can be dropped under
gravity to shut the reactor down.

Steam driven
Turbine
&
Generator

Fuel Rods

Uranium or Plutonium
Each rod is less than
the critical mass,
but together they form
well over the
critical mass
needed to sustain
a chain reaction.

Heat
Exchanger
Heat from
reactor
boils
water to
steam

Electricity

Each rod can be


withdrawn for
re-ffuelling

Condenser
These are
usually
huge
cooling
towers

Heat absorbing fluid (Often a liquid metal)


Circulates through the pile and transfers heat to
the heat exchanger for steam production.

Sizewell Nuclear Power Station, England

The reactor pile is inside this


dome, heavily shielded to prevent
any radiation escaping

Photo by
Les Powell

The following is background information only...

Instead, we rely on hydro-electricity and on burning


fossil fuels. Most of our electricity is made by burning
coal, which is a major contributor to the Greenhouse
Effect and Global Warming.

Australia is a non-nuclear country.


We have one small fission reactor in Sydney for
research, and to produce radio-isotopes for medicine
and industry.

Many people believe that nuclear technologies have


been improved, and are now safe enough for Australia
to look towards nuclear power for our growing
energy demands.

Ironically, Australia is also the country with the


largest mineral deposits of uranium ores. Our
economy benefits greatly by selling uranium to other
nations, but our government policy (based on the
democratic will of the people) has always been NOT
to use nuclear power.
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Please have an opinion on this important issue,


but make sure it is an informed opinion.
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Uses of Radio-isotopes
in Medicine

Radio-isotopes in Industry
The gamma rays from cobalt-60 are very
penetrating, and very destructive to living cells.

One application of Nuclear Physics that is likely to


affect each of us, or our family, is the use of radioisotopes in health care.

In the manufacture of medical supplies, such as


bandages and dressings, it is vital that the
product is totally sterile (germ-free). This is
achieved by irradiating the products with doses
of gamma radiation high enough to destroy any
bacteria or fungi spores which might be present.

Radio-isotopes are used for:

Imaging and Diagnosis


Radio-isotopes have now joined X-rays and
ultrasound scans for medical imaging and diagnosis.
For example, the artificial isotope thallium-201 is
used with a gamma ray camera to image heart
muscle and detect any damage from heart disease.
When injected into the bloodstream, thallium tends to
collect in any active muscle because it mimics
potassium ions. Being radioactive (it gives off a lot of
low-energy gamma rays) it allows a gamma ray
camera to make computer-aided images of heart
muscle to identify if any part of it is damaged.
The isotope has an extremely short half-life, so it
rapidly disappears and presents little danger to the
patient.

In paper manufacture, alpha emitting isotopes


such as Americium-241, are used for thickness
control. A radiation detector constantly
measures the percentage of radiation which
penetrates the paper as it moves at high speed
through thicknessing rollers. If the radiation
level drops, this means the paper is too thick, so
the rollers are automatically adjusted.

Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy relies on the fact that rapidlydividing cancer cells are more easily killed by gamma
radiation than normal healthy cells.
The isotope cobalt-60 (which emits beta and strong
gamma radiation) is commonly used as a source of
radiation which is accurately beamed into the tumour.

Radio-isotopes in Engineering
In aircraft construction, the airplane parts may
be welded together. It is essential that the
welded joints are totally strong and free of
defects. X-rays are not able to penetrate the
metal welds, but gamma rays can.

Another example is the use of iodine-131 in the


treatment of thyroid cancer. The thyroid gland is
located in the throat, and produces a vital
hormone which has iodine atoms in it.
This gland is the only part of the body which
uses iodine, and enzymes in the gland are able
to chemically recognize iodine ions and very
efficiently harvest iodine from the blood
stream.

To see inside the weld, gamma rays (again,


cobalt-60) are used like X-rays; they are beamed
through the welded joint and an image captured
by a gamma-ray camera. Analysis of the
image allows engineers to be sure of the quality
of the welding.

Iodine-131 is radioactive and emits beta and


gamma rays.

Radio-isotopes in Agriculture

If a small amount of I-131 is


injected into a patient who has
a tumour in the thyroid gland,
the radiation level is so low
that there is little risk to their
healthy tissue.

Location of
Thyroid
Gland

Radio-iosotopes are not used directly in


farming, but are very important in Agricultural
research, such as that carried out by the CSIRO.
For example, to study and compare the rates of
uptake of fertilisers into crop plants, isotopes
such as nitrogen-15 and phosphorus-32 are
commonly used.

However, due to the chemistry


of the iodine, the thyroid
gland rapidly absorbs the
isotope and concentrates it.
The radiation is concentrated
in the target organ and is
very effective in destroying
the tumour.

Small concentrations of these isotopes can be


included in a fertiliser applied to experimental
plants. The uptake of the fertiliser, and where it
ends up in the plant, can be traced by using
radiation detection equipment. This research
ultimately helps farmers to produce food crops
more efficiently and economically.

I-131 has a short half-life and


the radiation disappears
rapidly.
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The Standard Model of Matter


After 100 years of scientific research into the sub-atomic quantum universe,
just what is the latest picture we have for the structure of matter?
Our modern understanding is known as the Standard Model,
and is a description of both matter and energy (since these are inter-changeable)
at its most fundamental level.

The Four Fundamental Forces:


Gravity (the weakest of all) acts between all masses, and holds planets,
stars & galaxies together and in orbit.
Electomagnetic Force

acts only between charged particles. It is


responsible for holding atoms and molecules together (all chemical bonds
are basically electrical) as well as causing all electrical and magnetic
phenomena.

The Nuclear Weak Force

is involved in radioactivity
such as when an electron and an anti-neutrino are produced
during beta decay in the nucleus.

The Nuclear Strong Force (the strongest of all) acts


only between particles of the hadron family. It acts only over
very short range and is what holds protons and neutrons
together in the atomic nucleus.
We now know that protons & neutrons are composed of
smaller particles called quarks.

So far, it has NOT been possible to


combine Quantum Mechanics and the
Standard Model of Matter with
Einsteins Relativity Physics.
This would be the GUT; Grand United
Theory, which would combine an
explanation of EVERYTHING.

The Structure of Matter


Many Particles, but Just Two Families.
Once the atom-smashing Particle
Accelerators were developed, scientists
began detecting a bewildering assortment
of sub-atomic particles.
This confusion has now been simplified
with the realisation that all these particles
belong to just 2 basic types or classes:

Leptons

&

Hadrons

Leptons

include the electron, and the


neutrino family.(there are several
types of neutrino)
As well as being the particles
which flow in an electric
current, electrons are at
home in orbit around a
nucleus. Remember too, that
they have wave properties
and form (de Broglies)
standing waves within
(Bohrs) allowed orbits.

Hadrons are made from QUARKS


Hadrons include the proton and neutron, and a family of
particles called mesons.

Then there are the

All the hadrons are composed of


combinations of quarks.

These are quantum particlewaves and are the means by


which all the particles
exert forces on each other.

Each quark has a charge of either +2/3 or -1/3


(compared to the charge of an electron = -1).

Bosons

The best known is the photon


of electromagnetic radiation,
Protons contain 3 quarks with charge = +2/3 +2/3 -1/3 = +1
such as light.
When formed in the nucleus Neutrons contain 3 quarks with charge= +2/3 -1/3 -1/3 = 0
during beta decay, the
Gravity is thought to involve
electron (and an antiQuarks themselves come in a variety of flavours which
gravitons, but these have not
have
been
given
whimsical
names
such
as
charm
and
neutrino) is instantly ejected
yet been proven to exist.
strange. These names are labels for quantum states and
at high speed.
bear no connection to the normal meanings of these words.
The nuclear forces are carried
by gluons (strong force) and
W-particles (weak).

Anti-Particles and Anti-Matter


It has been discovered that for every Hadron and Lepton that exists, there is also a corresponding anti-particle.
For example, there are electrons, and there are anti-electrons (positrons) which have the same mass, but
opposite electric charge. There are also anti-protons, anti-neutrons, and so on. As you know, the other particle
formed in beta-decay is an anti-neutrino.
Theoretically, there could exist anti-matter with atoms made entirely of anti-particles.
When any particle and its anti-particle meet, they mutually annihilate each other... all the mass is converted into
energy (photons of gamma radiation) according to E=mc2.
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Worksheet 9

Applications of Nuclear Physics

Fill in the blank spaces


The Manhattan Project brought the
world into the a).......................... Age and
was one of the b)...............................
scientific research projects in history. It
led
to
technologies
such
as
c)......................................... from which
the world gets about 20% of its
electricity. d).......................................
were a threat to civilization during the
e)............................ War. Rockets were
developed to carry weapons, but now
we rely on them for f)........................
................................. The many uses of
g)............................
substances
in
Medicine and Industry are also direct
spin-offs.

Student Name..........................................

Nuclear reactors not only provide


electricity, but are used to make many
artificial u)............................... isotopes
that are useful in Medicine and Industry.
Medical uses include v).............................
and diagnosis, as well as treating
w)..................... by irradiation. An isotope
used for imaging is x).............................,
while y)........................ radiation for
cancer therapy often comes from the
isotope z).............................
This same isotope is also used in
industry,
for
example,
to
aa)......................................
surgical
dressing
and
bandages
after
manufacture and packaging. In paper
manufacture, the isotope ab)....................
is used to control the thickness by
measuring
the
penetration
of
ac).............................. through the paper.

Nuclear research is still going on.


Neutrons are excellent probes or
bullets because h)..................................
................. In addition, i).......................
................................. are used to
accelerate j)............................... particles
up
to
near
the
k)..................
............................ From the l)....................
& .................... from a collision,
scientists are able to infer the structure
of matter.

In engineering, gamma rays from


ad)......................... are used to check the
quality of ae)..........................................,
for example in aircraft construction.
In agricultural research, isotopes such
as af)...................... and .............................
are used to trace the movement of
chemicals into and through a plant.

A nuclear fission reactor has 3 main


components:
Fuel Rods made of a fissile material
such as m)................................. or
...................................
n)........................ Rods (made of
o).......................) These control the rate
of fission by absorbing p).........................
The Moderator, which is usually
q)................................. or heavy water.
Its job is to r).................................... the
neutrons so that fission is more likely to
occur. The energy released by the
fission reaction is used to make steam,
which then drives a s).............................
and
.............................
to
make
t)...........................

Our modern picture of matter is called


the ag)................... ..............................
There are many sub-atomic particles,
but they all belong to 2 classes:
ah)........................, including the
electron and a variety of ai)......................
aj)..........................., including the
ak)....................... and ............................
Each of these is composed of smaller
(although more massive) particles
called al)...........................

COMPLETED WORKSHEETS
BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES

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Worksheet 10

Test Questions

section 4

1.
Assess the significance of the
Manhattan Project to society, including
mention of 2 technologies that were
developed from it.

Student Name...............................

4.
Using named examples of 4 different
radio-isotopes, describe an application
of radioactivity in
a) medicine.

b) industry.

c) engineering.
2.
Explain the basic principles of a fission
reactor, outlining the composition and
function of the fuel rods, moderator and
control rods.

d) agriculture.

5.
Discuss the the key features of the
Standard Model of matter including
the main classes of particles,
examples of each, and whether each is
composed of anything smaller.

3.
a) What properties of neutrons make
them useful as probes to investigate
the nucleus?

b) Identify and briefly describe another


technology used in modern nuclear
research to investigate the structure of
matter.

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CONCEPT DIAGRAM (Mind Map) OF TOPIC


In all the Core Topics you were given examples of a Mind Map
as a way to summarise the content of the topic.
If you have found this a useful way to summarise and learn, then you may want to do it again.
By now you should have developed the skills to do it yourself...

Rutherford & Bohr


Models of the Atom
de Broglie
&
Matter Waves

FROM QUANTA
TO QUARKS
Into the
Nucleus
Applications
of
Nuclear
Physics

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Answer Section
Worksheet 1
1.

7.

1 = RH( 1/nf - 1/ni )

= 1.097x107( 1/12 - 1/82 )


= 1.080 x 107
1/
= 9.20x10-8 m ( = 92 nm)
Visible light has wavelengths from about 400-700 nm.
This is much shorter, therefore is in the ultra violet.

Electrons in orbit
around central
nucleus
Atom mostly
empty space
Nucleus

Worksheet 2

2.
The existing theory for EMR stated that electrons
accelerating in circular motion should constantly emit
light energy, but obviously they dont.

a) nucleus
b) J.J.Thomson
c) orbit
d) accelerating/in circular motion
e) (electromag) radiation f) glow
g) emission spectrum
h) wavelengths
i) discharge tube
j) spectroscope
k) hydrogen
l) Balmer
m) Rhydberg
n) wavelength
o) revolve only in allowed orbits
p) radiate energy/emit light
q) jump
r) absorb or emit
s) wavelength/frequency t) Planks
u) Rhydberg
v) allowed
w) angular momentum x) hydrogen
y) intensities/brightness z) Zeeman
aa) hyperfine
ab) divided into sub-orbits

3.
a) Balmer Series is the 4 lines of visible light in the
emission spectrum for hydrogen.
b)
1 = RH( 1/nf2 - 1/ni2 )

= 1.097x107( 1/22 - 1/42 )


= 2.057 x 106
1/
= 4.86x10-7 m

c)
c = .f, f = c/
= 3.00x108 /4.86 x10-7
= 6.17x1014Hz.
E = h.f
= 6.63x10-34 x 6.17x1014
= 4.09x10-19 J.
d) The energy difference between the 2nd and 4th
quantum levels (or allowed orbits).

Worksheet 3
a) particle
c) wave
e) standing
g) very little
i) experiment
k) electrons
m) diffraction
o) Diffraction
q) semi-circular
s) add together
u) cancel
w) Heisenberg

4.
It is very unlikely that Bohr could have developed his
atomic model without the evidence of the hydrogen
spectrum. The fact that there were distinct lines at
precise wavelengths all pointed to quanta of energy,
rather than variable amounts.
5.
a) More energy, because it is the difference between
5th-2nd orbits, compared to 4th-2nd.
b) Higher frequency, because Planks E = hf shows a
direct relationship between energy and frequency.
c)Shorter, because frequency and wavelength are
inversely related by the wave equation , v=lf.
6.
a)
electrons revolve only in certain stable, allowed
orbits
Energy must be absorbed, or emitted, in quantised
amounts when an electron jumps from one orbit to
another.
Within the allowed orbits the electrons angular
.
momentum is quantised to a multiple of h/2
b)
* it applied only to the hydrogen atom.
* it could not explain the different intensities of the
spectral lines.
* it could not explain the hyperfine spectral lines.
* it could not explain the Zeeman Effect.

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b) particles
d) wavelength
f) wavelengths
h) evidence
j) Davisson & Germer
l) interference
n) wave
p) spread out
r) interfere
t) amplitude
v) bright and dark
x) Pauli

Worksheet 4
1.
a) = h = 6.63x10-34/(9.11x10-31 x 2.25x106)
mv
= 3.23x10-10 m
b) = h

mv
so v = h/m
= 6.63x10-34/9.11x10-31x4.75x10-9
= 1.53x105 ms-1.
= 3.00x108/4.75x10-9
c) c = f,
so f = c/
= 6.32x1016 Hz
d) E = h.f
= 6.63x10-34 x 6.32x1016
= 4.19x10-17 J.

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Worksheet 4 (cont)

z) increases by 1
aa) stays the same
ab) different amounts of energy
ac) another particle was produced
ad) anti-neutrino
ae) Strong Nuclear Force
af) electrostatic repulsion
ag) extremely short
ah) nucleons
ai) defect
aj) converted to energy ak) E = mc2
al) fission
am) neutron
an) splits apart
ao) neutrons
ap) chain
aq) mass conversion/defect
ar) Manhattan
as) Enrico Fermi

2.
His proposal had very little impact at first. It was a
neat idea, and mathematically valid, but the
scientific community took little notice because there
was no evidence from observation or experiment to
link it to. It was not until the hypothesis was tested by
Davisson and Germer that the Physics world really
took notice.
3.
Outline: In a vacuum tube, a beam of cathode rays
(electrons) were beamed at a specially prepared
nickel crystal.
Result: They detected an interference pattern in that
part of the beam that reflected from the crystal.
Significance: this proved that electrons showed wave
properties (diffraction & interference) and confirmed
de Broglies hypothesis.

Worksheet 6
1. 218 Po
2.
84

237
93

Polonium

4.
The allowed orbits are where the the electron can
exist as a standing wave around the nucleus. The
orbit circumference is exactly equal to an integral
number of electron wavelengths.

4. 237

5.
a) When waves pass through a small gap in a barrier,
the gap acts like a point source of waves, which
spread out in a semi-circular pattern.
b)

6. 227
89

Np

93

3. 206

Np

Lead

Neptunium

214

5.

Pb

82

Rn

86

Radon

Neptunium

223

Ac

Fr

87

4
2

He

He

Francium

7.

240

244

Pu
94

92

4
2

Uranium

Beta Decay Equations


1.

a) 131
54

6.
In the 1920s, Atomic Physics was using a mixture of
classical ideas, overlaid with the new quantum
ideas, but it was artificial and contrived.

b) 234

Mg

e) 239

24

d)

12

It was Heisenberg (Uncertainty Principle) and Pauli


(Exclusion Principle) who developed the theoretical
framework of Quantum Mechanics so it could become
a coherent, modern scientific model of matter.

91

93

Pa

c)

Np

f)

He

2
60
28

Ni

2.

a)

Li

b) 135

Worksheet 5

54

a) in the atomic nucleus b) protons & neutrons


c) neutrons
d) protons
e) positive
f) Chadwick
g) alpha
h) gamma
i) paraffin wax
j) protons
k) conservation of momentum and energy
l) particle
m) a proton
n) electric charge
o) changing into a different element
p) nuclear
q) radioactive
r) fission or fusion
s) too large
t) 2 protons & 2 neutrons
u) decreases by 4
v) deceases by 2
w) gamma rays
x) proton
y) electron
HSC Physics Option Topic From Quanta to Quarks
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Xe

c) 31
15

d) 38
17

29

Xe

P
Cl

Be

135
55
31
16
38
18

e
-1
1

Cs

Ar

e
-1
1
0

+
+

e-

e
-1
1

-1
1
0

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Site Licence Conditions only

keep it simple science

Worksheet 7

4.
It was noticed that the electrons produced by beta
decay varied a lot in the energy they carried, although
the process was thought to be the same in each case.
Why?
Pauli suggested that there was another particle
involved, which shared the total energy with the
electron... the neutrino (actually an anti-neutrino).
This explanation of beta decay was so convincing
that the existence of the neutrino was accepted many
years before its actual detection.

1.
Mass defect = (mass reactants) - (mass products)
= (9.0122+4.0026)-(11.9967+1.0087)
= 13.0148-13.0054
= 0.0094 u
Energy release = 0.0094 x 931.5 = 8.756 MeV
2.
Mass defect = (mass reactants) - (mass products)
= (235.0439+1.0087)-(140.8167+91.8804+3.0261)
= 236.0526 - 235.7232
= 0.3294 u
Energy release = 0.3294 x 931.5 = 306.8 MeV
3.
Mass defect = (mass reactants) - (mass products)
=(7.0160+1.0073)-(4.0026 x 2)
= 8.0233 - 8.0052
= 0.0181 u
Energy release = 0.0181 x 931.5 = 16.86 MeV
4.
Mass defect = (mass reactants) - (mass products)
=(239.0446+1.0087) - (144.8115+91.8804+3.0261)
= 240.0533 - 239.7180
= 0.3353 u
Energy release = 0.3353 x 931.5 = 312.3 MeV
5.
Mass defect = (mass reactants) - (mass products)
=(21.9780+4.0026) - (24.9575+1.0073)
= 25.9806 - 25.9648 = 0.0158 u
Energy release = 0.0158 x 931.5 = 14.72 MeV

5.
a)A fission reaction is set off by a neutron striking a
suitable nucleus. The fission process produces 2 or 3
new neutrons, each of which can set off another
fission. Therefore, once started, it is possible to have
a chain reaction of fissions.
b) If 2 or more neutrons are released, and each sets
off another fission, the chain reaction will grow
exponentially. This is an uncontrolled reaction.
If some neutrons are absorbed so that each fission
sets off exactly 1 other fission, then the chain
reaction will continue, but at a steady, controlled rate.

Worksheet 9
a) Atomic/Nuclear
b) most significant
c) nuclear power stations
d) Nuclear weapons
e) Cold
f) launching satellites
g) radioactive
h) their lack of electric charge makes it more likely
they will collide with the nucleus
i) particle accelerators j) charged
k) speed of light
l) radiation & particles
m) uranium or plutonium
n) Control
o) cadmium/boron
p) neutrons
q) graphite
r) slow down
s) turbine & generator t) electricity
u) radioactive
v) imaging
w) cancer
x) thallium-201
y) gamma
z) cobalt-60
aa) sterilise
ab) americium-241
ac) alpha particles
ad) cobalt-60
ae) welded joints
af) nitrogen-15 & phosph-31
ag) Standard Model
ah) leptons
ai) neutrinos
aj) Hadrons
ak) proton & neutron
al) quarks

Worksheet 8
1.
Chadwick used a radioactive material to fire alpha
particles at a beryllium target. This produced a
penetrating radiation that others thought were
gamma rays. Chadwick let this radiation strike a
paraffin wax target. From this came streams of
protons, dislodged by the mystery rays. He used
the laws of conservation of energy and momentum to
calculate the nature of the radiation that had
dislodged the protons.
This showed it was particles with mass about 1u, and
no electric charge... neutrons.
2.
Calculations showed that gravity was too weak to
hold the nucleons together in the face of electrostatic
repulsion between protons. No other forces were
known, but there must exist another force in the
nucleus.
This Strong Nuclear Force must attract all
nucleons, and must be very powerful. It must be
extremely short-ranged, and work only across the
distance of a single nucleus.

Worksheet 10
1.
This was one of the most significant scientific
projects in history. It led directly to the development
of nuclear weapons which (during the Cold War)
threatened to destroy civilization, and still have that
potential. It also lead to nuclear technologies such as
the many uses of radioactive isotopes in Medicine (eg
for imaging, diagnosis & cancer treatment) Both
these technologies, and others, have had profound
impacts upon society, both positive and negative.

3.
a) Every nucleus larger than hydrogen has a mass
slightly less than the sum of the protons and
neutrons it contains. The difference is the mass
defect.
b) The missing mass of the mass defect is mass
that has converted to energy according to E=mc2.
This energy provides the binding energy of the
strong nuclear force.

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Worksheet 10 (cont)

4.
a) Iodine-131 can be used to treat thyroid cancer.
Iodine becomes concentrated in the thyroid gland
where the radiation kills tumour cells with minimal
damage to healthy tissue.

2.
The fuel rods are composed of uranium or plutonium
which undergoes fission. Each rod is below the
critical mass for a chain reaction, but when many
rods are inserted into the reactor, a chain reaction
can be sustained.

b) Americium-241 is used to monitor the thicknes of


paper during manufacture. The penetration of alpha
particles through the paper is used as a measure of
thickness, and equipment adjusted automatically.

Control rods are made from cadmium or boron and


are good neutron absorbers. These control the rate of
the reaction by adjusting how many neutrons are
available to continue the chain reaction.

c) Gamma rays from cobalt-60 can be used to image


welded joints in aircraft manufacture.

The moderator is graphite or heavy water which


slows the neutrons down. This makes collisions more
likely to set off a fission, and allows the reactor to run
efficiently at a steady rate.

d) Nitrogen-15 is used as a tracer in agricultural


research. Added to soil or fertilizer, its uptake and
travel through the plant can be traced by radiation
detection equipment.

3.
a) Neutrons have no electrical charge. This makes
them more penetrating, and less likely to be deflected
by electrons or protons before they collide with a
nucleus.

5.
There are many sub-atomic particles, but they all
belong to 2 classes:
Leptons include the electron, and a variety of
neutrinos. These are fundamental particles, not
composed of anything smaller.

b) Particle Accelerators use powerful electromagnets


to accelerate charged objects up to very high speeds.
They are then allowed to collide head-on, or to strike
target atoms. The radiation and particle tracks from
the collision are studied to reveal information about
the structure of matter.

Hadrons include the proton and neutron and others.


These are composed of combinations of different
quarks. A proton, for example, is composed of 3
quarks, bound together by a huge mass defect.

NOTICE ANY ERRORS?


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