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1. Isotope are atoms of the same element that have the same number of protons (same atomic number) but different number of electrons (different mass number) 2. Radioisotopes are unstable isotopes that go through radioactive decay to attain greater stability.
The table shows the atomic structure of chlorine-35 and chlorine-37 with their nuclide notations. 4. Both chlorine-35 and chlorine-37 have the same proton number that is 17. 5. However, the number of protons and neutrons, that is the nucleon number, is 35 for chlorine 35 and 37 for chlorine-37. 6. Therefore, the number of neutrons for chlorine-35 is 35 - 17 = 18 and the number of neutrons for chlorine-37 is 37 -17 = 20
Radioisotope in Medical Treatment
1. Gamma-rays can be used to detect and treat deep cancerous growths in a cancer patient. The radiation kills the cells of the malignant tumour in the patient. 2. The machine built for this purpose is gammatron which is very useful in radiotherapy 3. Iodine -131 is used to detect problems of the thyroid gland. Iodine accumulates readily in the thyroid gland. 4. By using radioisotopes iodine-131 and finding out the rate at which it accumulates in the thyroid, the thyroid function can be monitored
Radioisotope in Industry
1. In the area of manufacturing, suitable radioactive sources are used to check the thickness of rolled sheets of metal, paper or plastic. 2. Gamma source and a G-M tube are used to check the thickness of the metal sheet. 3. If the activity detected by the G- M tube is constant (ratemeter reading is constant) it means that the sheet has uniform thickness. 4. Lower activity indicates that the sheet is thicker and higher activity indicates that the sheet is thinner. 5. Beta sources are used to check the thickness of paper or plastic sheets while gamma radiations are used to check the thickness of metal sheets.
b) Food Contents
7. The contents of canned food can be detected by beta rays from beta sources. 8. If the activity detected by a G-M tube is low, it means that the quantity of food in that can is full.
(c) Detecting Leakage in pipes
1. A small amount of radioisotope (sodium) that has a short half-life is dissolved in water and allowed to flow in the pipe. 2. If high activity is detected by the G-M tube, there is leakage in that area. (d) Sterilisation
1. Strong gamma rays are used to kill bacteria in pre-packed frozen food. 2. This will sterilize the food and prevent food poisoning.
1. Carbons-14 exists in plants and animals 2. When living things die, they stop taking in carbon and the activity of carbon-14 begins to decrease with a half-life of 5700 years. 3. Therefore, the age of the dead plants and animals can be determined by comparing the activity of carbon-14 in the relics with that of living trees and animals.
Example: 1 gram of radioactive carbon-14 sample from a living plant has an activity of 20 disintegration per minute. A sample 0.5 g was taken from a dead plant a long time ago and it shows 20 disintegrations every 8 minutes. Given that the half-life of carbon-14 is 5570 years, estimate the age of the sample.
Solution: The number of disintegrations of 0.5 g sample from a living plant in 8 minutes = 20 x 8x 0.5 = 80 The number of disintegration is halved in each half-life. 5570 yrs 5570 yrs 80 40 20 Therefore the carbon-14 in the sample would have gone through two half lives. Age of the sample = 5570 x 20 = 11140 years
5.4 NUCLEAR ENERGY
1. Nuclear energy is energy released from the nucleus due to a reduction in its mass. 2. The release of nuclear energy occurs in processes like radioactive decay, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. 3. Nuclear reaction or radioactivity decay produces new nuclei and emits radioactive particles. 4. The total mass of the products is less than the total initial mass. This mass difference is called mass defect. The energy released is due to this mass defect. 5. This energy is calculated by Einstein’s mass energy equation:
Where E = Energy (J) m = mass difference (kg) 8 c = velocity of light ( 3 x 10 ms-1)
The unit for nucleus mass is unified atomic mass unit (amu) 1 a.m.u = 1/12 x mass of a carbon-12 atom 1 a.m.u = 1.66 x 10-27 kg.
Example: Below is an equation for the decay of radium-226. Ra Rn + He + Energy The masses of each atom: Ra = 226.02536 a.m.u Rn = 222.01753 a.m.u He = 4.00260 a.m.u
(a) find the mass defect in a.m.u (ii) kg (b) Calculate the amount of energy released in (i) J (ii) eV [ 1 a.m.u = 1.66 x 10-27 kg; 1 eV = 1.66 x 10-19]
1. Nuclear fission is a process whereby a heavy unstable nucleus of an atom splits into two or more lighter nuclei with the release of energy. 2. Uranium-235 is bombarded by a slow moving neutron. After being bombarded by the neutron, uranium-235 forms uranium-236. 3. Uranium-236 is unstable and splits into two nearly equal radioactive nuclei, often being barium and krypton together with the production of three neutrons. 4. The total mass of the product particles on the right side of the equations less than the mass of the initial nucleus on the left side of the equation.
5. Going by Einstein’s mass-energy equation, the loss in mass is accounted for by the gain in energy. 6. The energy released is in the form of an increase in the kinetic energy of the product particles. 7. The two fast moving fission fragments collide with the surrounding atoms and raise their kinetic energy and thus their temperature. This process will produce heat.
1. In the fission reaction, the three fast moving neutrons are made to slow down. They will collide with other uranium -235.
2. The uranium nucleus again undergoes fission and generates more fission fragments, produce more neutrons and more energy.
3. This nuclear fission process is repeated. As a result, more new nuclei, neutrons and energy are released. This process is called chain reaction.
4. The minimum mass of uranium-235 for a chain reaction to occur is called critical mass. If the mass of uranium-235 is more than the critical mass, the chain reaction will continue to progress and release a large amount of energy. 5.Thus the energy is generated at a steady, controllable rate. In an atomic bomb explosion, the chain is not under control. Thus a gigantic amount energy is released in a short time.
a nuclear reactor
1. Nuclear Fusion is the process whereby two nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus with the release of energy d e to the loss of mass
3. The energy released is calculated by Einstein’s mass-energy equation. E = mc2 4. Fusion gives out more energy per kilogram of fuel than fission.
5. For example the fusion of two nuclei of deuterium (heavy hydrogen)
5. For example the fusion of two nuclei of deuterium (heavy hydrogen) produces an isotope of helium as shown above. 6. For fusion to take place, a temperature of about 100 million o C is required. This process is difficult to control.
7. Another nuclear fission also occurs as shown below
Differences between Nuclear Fusion and Nuclear Fission
Nuclear Fusion Definition Nuclear fusion is a process whereby lighter nuclei fuse together to forma single heavier nucleus with the release of energy. The reduction in mass, when two light nuclide fuse together, is converted into energy. Light nuclei at high speed and very high temperature overcome the repulsion force and fuse to form a single nucleus. Difficult to control. Fusion is the process that powers the sun. Nuclear Fusion Nuclear fission is a process whereby a heavy unstable nucleus of an atom splits into lighter nuclei with the release of energy. The reduction in the total mass of fragments compared into the mass of the original nuclide is converted into energy. Moving particles, e.g. neutrons, hit and break up heavy nucleus and produce enough neutrons to break up other nuclei (chain reaction) Can be controlled. Fission is the process used in a nuclear reactor
Where did the energy come from?
Process that takes place
Can the rate of reaction be controlled? Examples
MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES
1. Radiation from radioactive sources can cause radiation burn, radiation sickness or death. 2. Overexposure can also lead to radiation sickness and ultimately, death. 3. Radioactive radiation can also cause leukemia or cataract. These may sometimes appear many years later. 4. During the second world war, two Japanese cities were exposed to a large amount of ionizing radiation caused by atomic bombs. 5. Many survivors experienced mutations in their genes which led to abnormalities of their offspring. 7. The Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in 1986 caused a large leakage of radioactive dust into the air, posing health hazard to people and other living things.
Precautions Against Radiation hazards
1. Workers dealing with radioactive sources must wear film badges or pocket dosimeters to keep track of the accumulated dosage of radiation they have been exposed to. 2. The radioactive sources must kept in prominently labeled lead-line boxes. 3. The walls of the storage rooms of nuclear laboratories are built with lead bricks that are 1 m thick. 4. Radiation symbol is prominently displayed to warn people of the location or presence of radioactive sources. 5. Persons doing radiation experiments must wear special lead-lined suits and use tweezers or remote control equipment to handle radioactive sources. 6. Food and drinks are strictly prohibited in the laboratory to minimize the possibility of consuming radioactive dust together with the foo
Photo: Ohmura Navy Hospital A girl with her skin hanging in strips, at Ohmura Navy Hospital on August 10-11
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