Chapter 1

Fundamental Concepts

The last half of the twentieth century was a time in which tremendous advances in science and technology revolutionized our entire way of life. Many new technologies were invented and developed in this time period from basic laboratory research to widespread commercial application. Communication technology, genetic engineering, personal computers, medical diagnostics and therapy, bioengineering, and material sciences are just a few areas that were greatly affected. Nuclear science and engineering is another technology that has been transformed in less than fifty years from laboratory research into practical applications encountered in almost all aspects of our modern technological society. Nuclear power, from the first experimental reactor built in 1942, has become an important source of electrical power in many countries. Nuclear technology is widely used in medical imaging, diagnostics and therapy. Agriculture and many other industries make wide use of radioisotopes and other radiation sources. Finally, nuclear applications are found in a wide range of research endeavors such as archaeology, biology, physics, chemistry, cosmology and, of course, engineering. The discipline of nuclear science and engineering is concerned with quantifying how various types of radiation interact with matter and how these interactions affect matter. In this book, we will describe sources of radiation, radiation interactions, and the results of such interactions. As the word "nuclear" suggests, we will address phenomena at a microscopic level, involving individual atoms and their constituent nuclei and electrons. The radiation we are concerned with is generally very penetrating and arises from physical processes at the atomic level. However, before we begin our exploration of the atomic world, it is necessary to introduce some basic fundamental atomic concepts, properties, nomenclature and units used to quantify the phenomena we will encounter. Such is the purpose of this introductory chapter.

1.1

Modern Units

With only a few exceptions, units used in nuclear science and engineering are those defined by the SI system of metric units. This system is known as the "International System of Units" with the abbreviation SI taken from the French "Le Systeme International d'Unites." In this system, there are four categories of units: (1) base units of which there are seven, (2) derived units which are combinations of the base units, (3) supplementary units, and (4) temporary units which are in widespread

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Table 1.1. The SI system of units arid their four categories.

Base SI units:
Physical quantity length mass time electric current thermodynamic temperature luminous intensity quantity of substance Unit name meter kilogram second ampere kelvin candela mole Symbol
m kg s A K cd mol

Examples of Derived SI units:
Physical quantity force work, energy, quantity of heat power electric charge electric potential difference electric resistance magnetic flux magnetic flux density frequency radioactive decay rate pressure velocity mass density area volume molar energy electric charge density Unit name ricwton joule watt coulomb volt
ohm

Symbol
N J W

c

V

ft
Wb T Hz Bq Pa

weber tesla hertz bequerel pascal

Formula kg m s N m J s-1 A s W A' 1 V A- 1 V s Wb m" 2
s-1 s-1

N m-'2 in s"1 kg m~^
m in3
o

J mor 1 C m- 3

Supplementary Units:
Physical quantity plane angle solid angle Unit name radian steradian Symbol racl
sr

Temporary Units:
Physical quantity length velocity length area pressure pressure area radioactive activity radiation exposure absorbed radiation dose radiation dose equivalent Unit name nautical mile knot angstrom hectare
bar

Symbol

A
ha bar atm b Ci R

standard atmosphere barn curie roentgen gray sievert

Gy Sv

Value in SI unit 1852 m 1852/3600 rn s~[ 0.1 nm = ICT10 rn 1 hm 2 = 104 m 2 0.1 MPa 0.101325 MPa 10~ 24 cm 2 3.7 x 10H) Bq 2.58 x 10~4 C kg"1 1 J kg- 1

Source: NBS Special Publication 330, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, DC, 1977.

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use for special applications. These units are shown in Table 1.1. To accommodate very small and large quantities, the SI units and their symbols are scaled by using the SI prefixes given in Table 1.2. There are several units outside the SI which are in wide use. These include the time units day (d), hour (h) and minute (min); the liter (L or I); plane angle degree (°), minute ('), and second ("); and, of great use in nuclear and atomic physics, the electron volt (eV) and the atomic mass unit (u). Conversion factors to convert some non-Si units to their SI equivalent are given in Table 1.3. Finally it should be noted that correct use of SI units requires some "grammar" on how to properly combine different units and the prefixes. A summary of the SI grammar is presented in Table 1.4.

Table 1.2. SI prefixes. Factor Prefix Symbol yotta zetta exa peta tera giga mega kilo hecto deca 1 lo-2 deci io- centi 10~3 milli 10~6 micro io-9 nano 10~12 pico io-15 femto 10-18 atto 21 io-24 zepto io- yocto

Table 1.3. Conversion factors. Property Unit Length SI equivalent

10 1021 1018 1015 1012 109 106 103 102 101

24

Y Z E P T G M k h da d c m M n P f a z

in. ft mile (int'l) in 2 ft 2 acre square mile (int'l) hectare oz (U.S. liquid) in3 gallon (U.S.) ft 3
oz (avdp.) Ib ton (short)

2.54 x 1CT2 ma 3.048 x 10~ 1 ma 1.609344 X 103 m a
6.4516 x 10~4 m 2 a 9.290304 X 10~2 m 2a 4.046873 X 103 m2 2.589988 X 106 m2 1 x 104 m 2 2.957353 X 10~5 m3 1.638706 X 10~5 m3 3.785412 X 10~3 m3 2.831685 x 10~2 m3 2.834952 x 10~2 kg 4.535924 X lO^ 1 kg 9.071 847 x 102 kg 9.806650 N a 4.448222 N 8.896444 X 103 N 6.894757 x 103 Pa 4.788026 x 101 Pa 1.013250 x 105 Paa 2.49082 x 102 Pa 3.38639 x 103 Pa 1.33322 x 102 Pa 1 x 105 Paa 1.60219 x 10~19 J 4.184 J a 1.054350 X 103 J 3.6 x 106 J a 8.64 x 1010 J a

Area

Volume

Mass

Force

kgf lbf ton

y

Pressure lbf/in 2 (psi) lb f /ft 2 atm (standard) in. H 2 O (@ 4 °C) in. Hg (© 0 °C) mm Hg (@ 0 °C) bar Energy

eV cal Btu kWh MWd

"Exact converson factor. Source: Standards for Metric Practice, ANSI/ASTM E380-76, American National Standards Institute, New York, 1976.

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Table 1.4. Summary of SI grammar. Grammar capitalization Comments A unit name is never capitalized even if it is a person's name. Thus curie, not Curie. However, the symbol or abbreviation of a unit named after a person is capitalized. Thus Sv, not sv.
Use 58 rn, not 58m .

space plural raised dots

A symbol is never pluralized. Thus 8 N, not 8 Ns or 8 N s . Sometimes a raised dot is used when combining units such as N-m 2 -s; however, a single space between unit symbols is preferred as in N m 2 s. For simple unit combinations use g/cm 3 or g cm~ 3 . However, for more complex expressions, N m~ 2 s""1 is much clearer than N/m 2 /s. Never mix unit names and symbols. Thus kg/s, not kg/second or kilogram/s. Never use double prefixes such as ^g; use pg. Also put prefixes in the numerator. Thus km/s, not m/ms. When spelling out prefixes with names that begin with a vowel, supress the ending vowel on the prefix. Thus megohm and kilohm, not megaohm and kiloohm. Do not put hyphens between unit names. Thus newton meter, not newton-meter. Also never use a hyphen with a prefix. Hence, write microgram not micro-gram. For numbers less than one, use 0.532 not .532. Use prefixes to avoid large numbers; thus 12.345 kg, not 12345 g. For numbers with more than 5 adjacent numerals, spaces are often used to group numerals into triplets; thus 123456789.12345633, not 123456789.12345633.

solidis mixing units/names prefix double vowels

hyphens

numbers

1.1.1 Special Nuclear Units When treating atomic and nuclear phenomena, physical quantities such as energies and masses are extremely small in SI units, and special units are almost always used. Two such units are of particular importance.
The Electron Volt

The energy released or absorbed in a chemical reaction (arising from changes in electron bonds in the affected molecules) is typically of the order of 10~19 J. It is much more convenient to use a special energy unit called the electron volt. By definition, the electron volt is the kinetic energy gained by an electron (mass me and charge —e) that is accelerated through a potential difference AV of one volt = 1 W/A = 1 (J s~ 1 )/(C s-1) = 1 J/C. The work done by the electric field is -e&V = (1.60217646 x 1(T19 C)(l J/C) = 1.60217646 x 10~19 J = 1 eV. Thus
1 e V = 1.602 176 46 x 10~19 J.

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If the electron (mass me) starts at rest, then the kinetic energy T of the electron after being accelerated through a potential of 1 V must equal the work done on the electron, i.e.,
T = \m^ = -eAV = I eV.
Zi

(1.1)

The speed of the electron is thus v = ^/2T/me ~ 5.93 x 105 m/s, fast by our everyday experience but slow compared to the speed of light (c ~ 3 x 108 m/s).
The Atomic Mass Unit

Because the mass of an atom is so much less than 1 kg, a mass unit more appropriate to measuring the mass of atoms has been defined independent of the SI kilogram mass standard (a platinum cylinder in Paris). The atomic mass unit (abbreviated as amu, or just u) is defined to be 1/12 the mass of a neutral ground-state atom of 12C. Equivalently, the mass of Na 12C atoms (Avogadro's number = 1 mole) is 0.012 kg. Thus, 1 amu equals (1/12)(0.012 kg/JVa) = 1.6605387 x 10~27 kg. 1.1.2 Physical Constants Although science depends on a vast number of empirically measured constants to make quantitative predictions, there are some very fundamental constants which specify the scale and physics of our universe. These physical constants, such as the speed of light in vacuum c, the mass of the neutron me, Avogadro's number 7Va, etc., are indeed true constants of our physical world, and can be viewed as auxiliary units. Thus, we can measure speed as a fraction of the speed of light or mass as a multiple of the neutron mass. Some of the important physical constants, which we use extensively, are given in Table 1.5.

1.2

The Atom

Crucial to an understanding of nuclear technology is the concept that all matter is composed of many small discrete units of mass called atoms. Atoms, while often viewed as the fundamental constituents of matter, are themselves composed of other particles. A simplistic view of an atom is a very small dense nucleus, composed of protons and neutrons (collectively called nucleons), that is surrounded by a swarm of negatively-charged electrons equal in number to the number of positively-charged protons in the nucleus. In later chapters, more detailed models of the atom are introduced. It is often said that atoms are so small that they cannot been seen. Certainly, they cannot with the naked human eye or even with the best light microscope. However, so-called tunneling electron microscopes can produce electrical signals, which, when plotted, can produce images of individual atoms. In fact, the same instrument can also move individual atoms. An example is shown in Fig. 1.1. In this figure, iron atoms (the dark circular dots) on a copper surface are shown being moved to form a ring which causes electrons inside the ring and on the copper surface to form standing waves. This and other pictures of atoms can be found on the web at http://www.ibm.com/vis/stm/gallery.html. Although neutrons and protons are often considered as "fundamental" particles, we now know that they are composed of other smaller particles called quarks held

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Table 1.5. Values of some important physical constants as internationally recommended in 1998. Constant Speed of light (in vacuum) Electron charge Atomic mass unit Electron rest mass Symbol Value 2.99792458 x 108 m s~l 1.60217646 x 10'19 C 1.6605387 x 10~27 kg (931.494013 MeV/c 2 ) 9.1093819 x 10~31 kg (0.51099890 MeV/c 2 ) (5.48579911 x 10~4 u) 1.6726216 x 10~27 kg (938.27200 MeV/c 2 ) (1.0072764669 u) 1.6749272 x 10~27 kg (939.56533 MeV/c 2 ) (1.0086649158 u) 6.6260688 x 10~34 J s 4.1356673 x 10~15 eV s 6.0221420 x 1023 mol"1 1.3806503 x 10~23 J K ~ ] (8.617342 x 10~5 eV K" 1 ) 8.314472 J mor1 K" 1 8.854187817 x 10~12 F m"1

Proton rest mass

Neutron rest mass

Planck's constant Avogadro's constant Boltzmann constant Ideal gas constant (STP) Electric constant

Source: P.J. Mohy and B.N. Taylor, "CODATA Recommended Values of the Fundamental Physical Constants," Rev. Modern Physics, 72, No. 2, 2000.

together by yet other particles called gluons. Whether quarks arid gluons are themselves fundamental particles or are composites of even smaller entities is unknown. Particles composed of different types of quarks are called baryons. The electron and its other lepton kin (such as positrons, neutrinos, and muons) are still thought, by current theory, to be indivisible entities. However, in our study of nuclear science and engineering, we can viewr the electron, neutron and proton as fundamental indivisible particles, since the composite nature of nucleons becomes apparent only under extreme conditions, such as those encountered during the first minute after the creation of the universe (the "big bang") or in high-energy particle accelerators. We will not deal with such gigantic energies. Rather, the energy of radiation we consider is sufficient only to rearrange or remove the electrons in an atom or the neutrons and protons in a nucleus. 1.2.1 Atomic and Nuclear Nomenclature The identity of an atom is uniquely specified by the number of neutrons N and protons Z in its nucleus. For an electrically neutral atom, the number of electrons equals the number of protons Z, which is called the atomic number. All atoms of the same element have the same atomic number. Thus, all oxygen atoms have 8 protons in the nucleus while all uranium atoms have 92 protons.

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Figure 1.1. Pictures of iron atoms on a copper surface being moved to form a ring inside of which surface copper electrons are confined and form standing waves. Source: IBM Corp.

However, atoms of the same element may have different numbers of neutrons in the nucleus. Atoms of the same element, but with different numbers of neutrons, are called isotopes. The symbol used to denote a particular isotope is

where X is the chemical symbol and A = Z + TV, which is called the mass number. For example, two uranium isotopes, which will be discussed extensively later, are 2 g|U and 2 g2U. The use of both Z and X is redundant because one specifies the other. Consequently, the subscript Z is often omitted, so that we may write, for example, simply 235U and 238U.1
1

To avoid superscripts, which were hard to make on old-fashioned typewriters, the simpler form U-235 and U-238 was often employed. However, with modern word processing, this form should no longer be used.

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Because isotopes of the same element have the same number and arrangement of electrons around the nucleus, the chemical properties of such isotopes are nearly identical. Only for the lightest isotopes (e.g., 1 H, deuterium 2 H, and tritium 3 H) are small differences noted. For example, light water 1 H2O freezes at 0 °C while heavy water 2 H 2 O (or D 2 O since deuterium is often given the chemical symbol D) freezes at 3.82 °C. A discussion of different isotopes arid elements often involves the following basic nuclear jargon. nuclide: a term used to refer to a particular atom or nucleus with a specific neutron number N and atomic (proton) number Z. Nuclides are either stable (i.e., unchanging in time unless perturbed) or radioactive (i.e., they spontaneously change to another nuclide with a different Z and/or N by emitting one or more particles). Such radioactive nuclides are termed rachonuclides. isobar: nuclides with the same mass number A = N + Z but with different number of neutrons N and protons Z. Nuclides in the same isobar have nearly equal masses. For example, isotopes which have nearly the same isobaric mass of 14 u include ^B. ^C, ^N, and ^O. isotone: nuclides with the same number of neutrons Ar but different number of protons Z. For example, nuclides in the isotone with 8 neutrons include ^B. ^C. J f N and *f O. isorner: the same nuclide (same Z and A") in which the nucleus is in different longlived excited states. For example, an isomer of "Te is 99mTe where the m denotes the longest-lived excited state (i.e., a state in which the nucleons in the nucleus are not in the lowest energy state). 1.2.2 Atomic and Molecular Weights The atomic weight A of an atom is the ratio of the atom's mass to that of one neutral atom of 12C in its ground state. Similarly the molecular weight of a molecule is the ratio of its molecular mass to one atom of 12C. As ratios, the atomic and molecular weights are dimensionless numbers. Closely related to the concept of atomic weight is the atomic mass unit, which we introduced in Section 1.1.1 as a special mass unit. Recall that the atomic mass unit is denned such that the mass of a 12C atom is 12 u. It then follows that the mass M of an atom measured in atomic mass units numerically equals the atom's atomic weight A. From Table 1.5 we see 1 u ~ 1.6605 x 10~27 kg. A detailed listing of the atomic masses of the known nuclides is given in Appendix B. From this appendix, we see that the atomic mass (in u) and. hence, the atomic weight of a nuclide almost equals (within less than one percent) the atomic mass number A of the nuclide. Thus for approximate calculations, we can usually assume A — A. Most naturally occurring elements are composed of two or more isotopes. The isotopic abundance 7, of the /-th isotope in a given element is the fraction of the atoms in the element that are that isotope. Isotopic abundances are usually expressed in atom percent and are given in Appendix Table A.4. For a specified element, the elemental atomic weight is the weighted average of the atomic weights

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of all naturally occurring isotopes of the element, weighted by the isotopic abundance of each isotope, i.e.,

where the summation is over all the isotopic species comprising the element. Elemental atomic weights are listed in Appendix Tables A. 2 and A. 3.

Example 1.1: What is the atomic weight of boron? From Table A.4 we find that naturally occurring boron consists of two stable isotopes 10B and n B with isotopic abundances of 19.1 and 80.1 atom-percent, respectively. From Appendix B the atomic weight of 10B and U B are found to be 10.012937 and 11.009306, respectively. Then from Eq. (1.2) we find AB = (7io-4io +7n./4ii)/100 = (0.199 x 10.012937) + (0.801 x 11.009306) = 10.81103. This value agrees with the tabulated value AB = 10.811 as listed in Tables A.2 and A.3.

1.2.3 Avogadro's Number Avogadro's constant is the key to the atomic world since it relates the number of microscopic entities in a sample to a macroscopic measure of the sample. Specifically, Avogadro's constant 7Va ~ 6.022 x 1023 equals the number of atoms in 12 grams of 12C. Few fundamental constants need be memorized, but an approximate value of Avogadro's constant should be. The importance of Avogadro's constant lies in the concept of the mole. A mole (abbreviated mol) of a substance is denned to contain as many "elementary particles" as there are atoms in 12 g of 12C. In older texts, the mole was often called a "gram-mole" but is now called simply a mole. The "elementary particles" can refer to any identifiable unit that can be unambiguously counted. We can, for example, speak of a mole of stars, persons, molecules or atoms. Since the atomic weight of a nuclide is the atomic mass divided by the mass of one atom of 12C, the mass of a sample, in grams, numerically equal to the atomic weight of an atomic species must contain as many atoms of the species as there are in 12 grams (or 1 mole) of 12C. The mass in grams of a substance that equals the dimensionless atomic or molecular weight is sometimes called the gram atomic weight or gram molecular weight. Thus, one gram atomic or molecular weight of any substance represents one mole of the substance and contains as many atoms or molecules as there are atoms in one mole of 12C, namely Na atoms or molecules. That one mole of any substance contains Na entities is known as Avogadro's law and is the fundamental principle that relates the microscopic world to the everyday macroscopic world.

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Example 1.2: How many atoms of 10B are there in 5 grams of boron? From Table A. 3, the atomic weight of elemental boron AB = 10.811. The 5-g sample of boron equals m/ AB moles of boron, and since each mole contains Na atoms, the number of boron atoms is
Na

= AB

= (5 g)(0.6022 x 10" atoms/mo.) (10.811 g/mol)

=

y

From Table A. 4, the isotopic abundance of 10B in elemental boron is found to be 19.9%. The number Nw of 10B atoms in the sample is, therefore, A/io = (0.199)(2.785 x 1023) = 5.542 x 1022 atoms.

1.2.4 Mass of an Atom With Avogadro's number many basic properties of atoms can be inferred. For example, the mass of an individual atom can be found. Since a mole of a group of identical atoms (with a mass of A grams) contains 7Va atoms, the mass of an individual atom is M (g/atom) = A/Na ~ A/Na. (1.3) The approximation of A by A is usually quite acceptable for all but the most precise calculations. This approximation will be used often throughout this book. In Appendix B. a comprehensive listing is provided for the masses of the known atom. As will soon become apparent, atomic masses are central to quantifying the energetics of various nuclear reactions.
Example 1.3: Estimate the mass on an atom of 238 U. From Eq. (1.3) we find 238 (g/mol) = 3.952 x 10 6.022 x 1023 atoms/mol g/atom.

From Appendix B, the mass of 238 U is found to be 238.050782 u which numerically equals its gram atomic weight A. A more precise value for the mass of an atom of 238 U is, therefore, , 238in ___ M( 238 U) = v ; 238.050782 (g/mol) I,w ' = 3.952925 x IQ~" &/ g/atom. 6.022142 x 1023 atoms/mol

Notice that approximating A by A leads to a negligible error.

1.2.5 Atomic Number Density In many calculations, we will need to know the number of atoms in 1 cm3 of a substance. Again, Avogadro's number is the key to finding the atom density. For a homogeneous substance of a single species and with mass density p g/cm 3 , 1 cm3

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contains p/A moles of the substance and pNa/A atoms. The atom density N is thus N (atoms/cm3) -

(1.4)

To find the atom density Ni of isotope i of an element with atom density N simply multiply N by the fractional isotopic abundance 7^/100 for the isotope, i.e., Ni — Equation 1.4 also applies to substances composed of identical molecules. In this case, N is the molecular density and A the gram molecular weight. The number of atoms of a particular type, per unit volume, is found by multiplying the molecular density by the number of the same atoms per molecule. This is illustrated in the following example.
Example 1.4: What is the hydrogen atom density in water? The molecular weight of water AH Q = 1An + 2Ao — 2A# + AO = 18. The molecular density of EbO is thus
7V(ri2O) = V

Ar/TT

_ '

pH2°Na : ^H 2 0

=

(I g cm"3) x (6.022 x 1023 molecules/mol) ; : 18g/mol

= 3.35 x 1022 molecules/cm3. The hydrogen density 7V(H) = 27V(H 2 O) = 2(3.35xlO 22 ) = 6.69xlO 22 atoms/cm3.

The composition of a mixture such as concrete is often specified by the mass fraction Wi of each constituent. If the mixture has a mass density p, the mass density of the iih constituent is pi — Wip. The density Ni of the iih component is thus wlPNa PiNa
1=

~A~ = ~A~'
S\i

(

}

S^-i

If the composition of a substance is specified by a chemical formula, such as X n Y m , the molecular weight of the mixture is A = nAx + mAy and the mass fraction of component X is

nAx + mAy

t

/- -, (1.6)

Finally, as a general rule of thumb, it should be remembered that atom densities in solids and liquids are usually between 1021 and 1023 /cm~ 3 . Gases at standard temperature and pressure are typically less by a factor of 1000. 1.2.6 Size of an Atom For a substance with an atom density of TV atoms/cm3, each atom has an associated volume of V = I/A7" cm3. If this volume is considered a cube, the cube width is F1/3. For 238U, the cubical size of an atom is thus I/A7"1/3 = 2.7 x 10~8 cm. Measurements

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of the size of atoms reveals a diffuse electron cloud about the nucleus. Although there is no sharp edge to an atom, an effective radius can be defined such that outside this radius an electron is very unlikely to be found. Except for hydrogen, atoms have radii of about 2 to 2.5 x 10~8 cm. As Z increases, i.e., as more electrons and protons are added, the size of the electron cloud changes little, but simply becomes more dense. Hydrogen, the lightest element, is also the smallest with a radius of about 0.5 x 10~8 cm. 1.2.7 Atomic and Isotopic Abundances During the first few minutes after the big bang only the lightest elements (hydrogen, helium and lithium) were created. All the others were created inside stars either during their normal aging process or during supernova explosions. In both processes, nuclei are combined or fused to form heavier nuclei. Our earth with all the naturally occurring elements was formed from debris of dead stars. The abundances of the elements for our solar system is a consequence of the history of stellar formation and death in our corner of the universe. Elemental abundances are listed in Table A. 3. For a given element, the different stable isotopes also have a natural relative abundance unique to our solar system. These isotopic abundances are listed in Table A. 4. 1.2.8 Nuclear Dimensions Size of a Nucleus If each proton and neutron in the nucleus has the same volume, the volume of a nucleus should be proportional to A. This has been confirmed by many measurements that have explored the shape and size of nuclei. Nuclei, to a first approximation, are spherical or very slightly ellipsoidal with a somewhat diffuse surface, In particular, it is found that an effective spherical nuclear radius is R = R0Al/3, The associated volume is
Vicious = ^ - 7.25 X W~39A Cm3. (1.8)

with R0 ~ 1.25 x 1CT13 cm.

(1.7)

Since the atomic radius of about 2 x 10~8 cm is 105 times greater than the nuclear radius, the nucleus occupies only about 10~15 of the volume of a atom. If an atom were to be scaled to the size of a large concert hall, then the nucleus would be the size of a very small gnat!
Nuclear Density

Since the mass of a nucleon (neutron or proton) is much greater than the mass of electrons in an atom (mn = 1837 m e ), the mass density of a nucleus is
m nucleus A/Na ^nucleus = T7- = ~, \ ^nucleus

r>

~ 2A

14 X 1U

, 3 S/ cm '

This is the density of the earth if it were compressed to a ball 200 m in diameter.

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1.3 Chart of the Nuclides The number of known different atoms, each with a distinct combination of Z and A, is large, numbering over 3200 nuclides. Of these, 266 are stable (i.e., nonradioactive) and are found in nature. There are also 65 long-lived radioisotopes found in nature. The remaining nuclides have been made by humans and are radioactive with lifetimes much shorter than the age of the solar system. The lightest atom (A = 1) is ordinary hydrogen JH, while the mass of the heaviest is continually increasing as heavier and heavier nuclides are produced in nuclear research laboratories. One of the heaviest (A = 269) is meitnerium logMt. A very compact way to portray this panoply of atoms and some of their properties is known as the Chart of the Nuclides. This chart is a two-dimensional matrix of squares (one for each known nuclide) arranged by atomic number Z (y-axis) versus neutron number N (x-axis). Each square contains information about the nuclide. The type and amount of information provided for each nuclide is limited only by the physical size of the chart. Several versions of the chart are available on the internet (see web addresses given in the next section and in Appendix A). Perhaps, the most detailed Chart of the Nuclides is that provided by General Electric Co. (GE). This chart (like many other information resources) is not available on the web; rather, it can be purchased from GE ($15 for students) and is highly recommended as a basic data resource for any nuclear analysis. It is available as a 32" x55" chart or as a 64-page book. Information for ordering this chart can be found on the web at http://www.ssts.lmsg.lmco.com/nuclides/index.html.

1.3.1 Other Sources of Atomic/Nuclear Information A vast amount of atomic and nuclear data is available on the world-wide web. However, it often takes considerable effort to find exactly what you need. The sites listed below contain many links to data sources, and you should explore these to become familiar with them and what data can be obtained through them. These two sites have links to the some of the major nuclear and atomic data repositories in the world. http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/wallet/yellows.htm http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/usndp/usndp-subject.html The following sites have links to many sources of fundamental nuclear and atomic data. http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/ http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/index.htm http://isotopes.Ibl.gov/isotopes/toi.html http://wwwndc.tokai.jaeri.go.jp/index.html http://wwwndc.tokai.j aeri.go.jp/nucldata/index.html http://www.fysik.lu.se/nucleardata/toi_.htm http://atom.kaeri.re.kr/

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These sites contain much information about nuclear technology and other related topics. Many are home pages for various governmental agencies and some are sites offering useful links, software, reports, and other pertinent information. http://physics.nist.gov/ http://www.nist.gov/ http://www.energy.gov/ http://www.nrc.gov/ http://www.doe.gov/ http://www.epa.gov/oar/ http://www.nrpb.org.uk/ http://www-rsicc.ornl.gov/rsic.html http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/ http://www.nea.fr/

PROBLEMS
1. Both the hertz and the curie have dimensions of s"1. Explain the difference between these two units. 2. Explain the SI errors (if any) in and give the correct equivalent units for the following units: (a) m-grams/pL, (b) megaohms/nm, (c) N-m/s/s, (d) gram cm/(s~ 1 /mL). and (e) Bq/milli-Curie. 3. In vacuum, how far does light move in 1 ps? 4. In a medical test for a certain molecule, the concentration in the blood is reported as 123 mcg/dL. What is the concentration in proper SI notation? 5. How many neutrons and protons are there in each of the following riuclides: (a) 10B. (b) 24 Na, (c) 59Co, (d) 208 Pb. and (e) 235U? 6. What are the molecular weights of (a) H2 gas, (b) H 2 O, and (c) HDO? 7. What is the mass in kg of a molecule of uranyl sulfate UC^SCV/ 8. Show by argument that the reciprocal of Avogadro's constant is the gram equivalent of 1 atomic mass unit. 9. How many atoms of 234 U are there in 1 kg of natural uranium? 10. How many atoms of deuterium are there in 2 kg of water? 11. Estimate the number of atoms in a 3000 pound automobile. State any assumptions you make. 12. Dry air at normal temperature and pressure has a mass density of 0.0012 g/cm 3 with a mass fraction of oxygen of 0.23. WThat is the atom density (atom/cm 3 ) of 180?

Copyright 2002 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

13. A reactor is fueled with 4 kg uranium enriched to 20 atom-percent in 235U. The remainder of the fuel is 238U. The fuel has a mass density of 19.2 g/cm3. (a) What is the mass of 235U in the reactor? (b) What are the atom densities of 235U and 238U in the fuel? 14. A sample of uranium is enriched to 3.2 atom-percent in 235U with the remainder being 238U. What is the enrichment of 235U in weight-percent? 15. A crystal of Nal has a density of 2.17 g/cm3. What is the atom density of sodium in the crystal? 16. A concrete with a density of 2.35 g/cm3 has a hydrogen content of 0.0085 weight fraction. What is the atom density of hydrogen in the concrete? 17. How much larger in diameter is a uranium atom compared to an iron atom? 18. By inspecting the chart of the nuclides, determine which element has the most stable isotopes? 19. Find an internet site where the isotopic abundances of mercury may be found. 20. The earth has a radius of about 6.35 x 106 m and a mass of 5.98 x 1024 kg. What would be the radius if the earth had the same mass density as matter in a nucleus?

Copyright 2002 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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