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Generalnotes

Averaged over the four years, about 30% of the marks have been for problem-solving (qualitative and
quantitative) and 70% for recall of information with some interpretation of it, not a situation that those of us who
think that chemistry is a problem-solving discipline are happy with.
Extended response questions
Extended response questions are the ones that require the most careful attention from students to make sure
that they give the information asked for. With no guidance about how much emphasis to place on each aspect of
the question, it is easy to give too much information about one aspect and completely neglect another equally
important one. In tackling extended response-questions (questions that are just one or two sentences but worth
5 to 7 marks) you should start from the rule of thumb that the question requires one significant piece of
information per mark, so a six mark question will require six pieces of relevant information; that probably means
at least six sentences, often more. And it is going to require about 1.8 minutes per mark to answer as fully as the
examiners want (11 minutes for a 6 mark question). Analyse the question carefully before you start writing to
make sure you understand exactly what the question is asking for. If it contains two verbs such as saying
'describe' something and 'discuss' its importance or role in ..., then you need to split the marks between the two
parts, say 3 for 'describe' and 3 for 'discuss'. If you feel that it is difficult to give 3 significant facts for the 'discuss'
part, perhaps you could do a 4/2 split but a 5/1or 6/0 split would not be answering the question as asked. Even if
you could easily give 6 significant facts for the 'describe' part, you must give some for the 'discuss' part even
though that might be a struggle. Note that verbs such as evaluate and assess require you to make some
judgment, so even if you cannot give a deep and insightful one, at least give some judgment even if it seems
trivial it's a good thing, it's really important or it's of no great significance because the examiners are looking
for some sort of judgment and they do not have to agree with you to give you the mark (but they cannot give you
the mark if the judgment is not there). Only then are you ready to write your answer in the answer booklet.
With extended-response questions be very careful that you answer the question asked and not answer a related
question that you know a good answer for. Try to answer the question exactly as asked. If you cannot give

enough detail about that question to fill the time allocation, then perhaps you could provide related but not strictly
asked-for information, but do that only as a last resort. One reason for suggesting this is that sometimes it is not
possible to spend the allocated time on the question asked; it was not a good question.
ProductionofMaterials.NuclearChemistry.
HSC 2001

Question16(3marks)
Radioisotopesareusedinindustry,medicineandchemicalanalysis.ForONEofthese
fields,relatetheuseofanamedradioisotopetoits
properties......................................................................................................................................................................................................
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Answer:
http://www.cci.net.au/conqchem/ExamCommentsFrameset.htm

Question19(5marks)
(a)
Describetheconditionsunderwhichanucleusis
unstable........................................................................................................................................................................................................
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(b)
Thefollowingisaflowdiagramshowingthesequenceofproductsreleasedduringthedecayofuranium.

Seeadiagramonhttp://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/hsc_exams/hsc2002exams/pdf_doc/chemistry_02.pdf,q.19

Useexamplesfromtheflowdiagramtodescribeprocessesbywhichanunstableisotopeundergoesradioactivedecay.
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Seetheansweronhttp://www.cci.net.au/conqchem/ExamComments02Frameset.htm

HSC2003
Q18*(4marks)Describehowcommercialradioisotopesareproduced,andhowtransuranicelements
are
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HSC2004
Q26*(4marks)DiscussthebenefitsandproblemsassociatedwiththeuseofONEradioactiveisotope 4
in
industry........................................................................................................................................................................................................
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HSC2006
Q1Whichisthemainindustrialsourceofethylene?
(A) Ethanol(B)Glucose(C)Petroleum(D)Polyethylene

Q.3 Whichsetcontainsonlystablenuclei?
(A)2H12C238U1692
(B)16O39K12C8196
(C)65Zn18O24Mg30812
(D)14C16O1H681
Question16(3marks)
Describehowtechnologyhasenabledthetransuranicelementstobeproduced. 3
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Seetheanswerstoquestions1and16onhttp://www.cci.net.au/conqchem/ExamComments06Frameset.htm(q1and2)and
http://www.cci.net.au/conqchem/ExamComments06Frameset.htm(q16).

HSC2007
1
Whichofthefollowingisarenewableresource?
(A)Ethanol(B)Uranium(C)Petroleum(D)Aluminium
2
Whattypeofreactiondescribesthepolymerisationofglucoseintocellulose?
(A)Addition(B)Hydrolysis(C)Substitution(D)Condensation
5
Twometalshavebeenplacedinasolutioncontainingtheirrespectivemetallicions.Themetalsareconnectedtoavoltmeter.
Whichofthefollowingcombinationsofmetalswouldproducethehighestreadingonthevoltmeter?
(A) Tinandzinc(B) Copperandzinc(C) Copperandsilver(D) Magnesiumandlead
Seetheanswersonhttp://www.cci.net.au/conqchem/ExamComments07Frameset.htm

19(7Marks)
Therearemanybenefitsandproblemsassociatedwiththeuseofradioisotopesin
industryandmedicine.
Evaluatetheimpactonsocietyoftheuseofradioisotopesinbothindustryandmedicine.Inyouranswer,giveexamplesofspecific
radioisotopes,makingreferencetotheirchemicalproperties.
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Seetheansweronhttp://www.cci.net.au/conqchem/ExamComments07Frameset.htm

HSC2008
1
WhichofthefollowingradiationsismeasuredwithaGeigercounter?
(A)Beta(B)Infrared(C)Microwave(D)Ultraviolet
Answer: http://www.cci.net.au/conqchem/ExamComments08Frameset.htm
HSC2009*
1
Whichofthefollowingisanimportantfactorinpredictingthenuclearstabilityofanisotope?
(A) Atomicradius(B)
Nuclearradius(C)
Theratioofneutronstoprotons(D) Theratioofelectronstoprotons

HSC2010
1
Waterisreleasedduringapolymerisationreaction.Whichmonomerislikelytohavebeeninvolvedinthereaction?
(A)Ethene(B)Glucose(C)Styrene(D) Vinylchloride
2
Whichofthefollowingisanexampleofatransuranicelement?
(A)C14(B)Co60(C)U238(D)Cm249

HSC 2011
7
WhichofthefollowinglistscontainsONLYunstableisotopes?(
A)207Pb,99Tc,12N
B)214Pb,46Ca, 99Tc
(C)238U,40Ca, 12N
(D)238U,40Ca,99Tc

23(3marks)
Element112wasfirstsynthesizedin1996andofficiallynamedin2009as copernicium,Cn.
Explainwhythetransuranicisotope278Cnisunstable.1mark
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Describeamethodbywhichtransuranicelementscanbesynthesized.2
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23(a)
Sampleanswer:
Isotopessuchascopernicium278areunstablebecausetheyareheavynucleiwithhighneutron:protonratios,e.g.Cn278=166:112.
Question23(b)
Sampleanswer:
Transuranicelementscanbesynthesizedinaparticleaccelerator(positiveionaccelerator).Therearethreetypesofaccelerators:linear
accelerators,cyclotronsandsynchrotrons.Eachusesalternatingelectricandmagneticfieldstoaccelerateparticlesathighspeedto
penetrateatargetnucleus.
Answerscouldinclude:
Bombardmentwithneutrons,whichoccursinanuclearreactor,asnoaccelerationisnecessaryforneutronstobeabsorbedbyatarget
nucleus.
Answerstothequestionthatdonothavealinktotheanswers:
HSC2003
Q18*(4marks)Describehowcommercialradioisotopesareproduced,andhowtransuranicelements
areproduced.
Commercialradioisotopesaremadeinnuclearreactorsorincyclotrons.
Inanuclearreactor,targetnucleiarebombardedwithneutronsthattheyabsorbintotheirnuclei,e.g.technetium99(usedin
medicaldiagnostics)ismadebybombardingmolibdenium98withneutrons.
Inacyclotron,chargedparticlessuchaselectrons,protonsandsmallnuclei(He,C)arefiredatgreatspeedatlargernucleisothat
theyfusetogetherwhentheycollide.Thisresultsinneutrondeficientradioisotopes,e.g.iodine123(usedtodiagnosethyroid
disorders)resultsfromprotonbeingfiredatxenon124.

Transuranicelements,withatomicnumbergreaterthenuranium,aremadeinnuclearreactors,linearacceleratorsandcyclotrons.
Thetargetnuclei(e.g.uranium,plutonium,lead)areusuallyalreadylarge.Onetransuranicelement,americium241(usedin
domesticsmokedetectors),ismadeinanuclearreactorbybombardingplutoniumwithneutrons.Anothertransuranicelement,
californium,ismadebybombardinguranium238withacarbonnucleusinalinearaccelerator.
HSC2004
Q26*(4marks)DiscussthebenefitsandproblemsassociatedwiththeuseofONEradioactiveisotope 4
inindustry.
Sodium24isaradioactiveisotopeusedasaleakdetectorinundergroundwater,gasandoilpipes.Minimalradiationisdetected
fromitinsideapipe,butifthetracerleaksintothesoilsurroundingthepipeitcanbedetectedandtheleaklocatedwithouthaveto
digupentirepipeline.Italsoenablespipesininaccessiblespotstobeexamined.
Anotherbenefitisthatitonlyhasahalflifeof15hours,soitlastslongenoughtofindleaks,butquicklydecaysafterwards.This
meansthatthewater,gasoroilbecomesafetouseagainandtheenvironmentisquicklydecontaminated.Sincesodium24emitsbeta
radiationitdoesnotposeamajorhealthhazardtolivingthingsbecausetheradiationwillbeabsorbedbythepipeitselforbyits
surroundings.
Sodium24presentsproblemsifitismishandledastheradiationfromitcancauseundesirablereactionsinlivingtissueandsocan
causetissuedamage,cancersand/orgeneticdamageleadingtodeformitiesinoffsprings.Sodium24ismadeinanuclearreactor,so
anyoneinvolvedinitsproductionmustobservestringentsafetyprecautionstoprotectthemselvesandothersfromtheeffectsofthe
radiation.
PleasenotethatAmericium241thatisusedindomesticsmokedetectorsisnotstrictlyindustrialradioisotope.However,Am241has
anindustrialusetomonitorthicknessofgaugesinglassindustry.
HSC2009*
1.C
Isotopesareatomsofthesameelementwithdifferentnumbersofneutrons.
Achangeinp:nrationeffectsnuclearstability,soCistheanswer.
Theatomicradiusandthenuclearradiusshowlittlevariationbetweenisotopesofoneelementandshowmuchmore
variationfromoneelementtothenextsobotha)absB)areincorrect.Allisotopesoftheoneelementhavethesamep:n

ration,soDisincorrect.
HSC2010*
1. B
Explanation:Waterisreleasedinapolymerizationreactionifan_OHgroupinthemonomeriseliminatedalongwithaH
atom.Ethylene(ethane)isC2H2,glucoseisC6H12O6,styreneisC6H5.Ch.Ch2andvinylchlorideisCH2.CHCl.Only
glucosehasoneormore_OHgroups.