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Chapt23

Accounting

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Back Forward Main Menu TOC Study Guide TOC Textbook Website MHHE Website
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C H A P T E R 23 Nuclear Chemistry I N T R O D U C T I O N N UCLEAR CHEMISTRY IS THE STUDY OF REACTIONS INVOLVING CHANGES IN ATOMIC NUCLEI . T HIS BRANCH OF CHEMISTRY BEGAN WITH THE DIS - COVERY OF NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY BY A NTOINE B ECQUEREL AND GREW AS A RESULT OF SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATIONS BY P IERRE AND M ARIE C URIE AND MANY OTHERS . N UCLEAR CHEMISTRY IS VERY MUCH IN THE NEWS TODAY . I N AD - DITION TO APPLICATIONS IN THE MANUFACTURE OF ATOMIC BOMBS , HY - DROGEN BOMBS , AND NEUTRON BOMBS , EVEN THE PEACEFUL USE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY HAS BECOME CONTROVERSIAL , IN PART BECAUSE OF SAFETY CONCERNS ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS AND ALSO BECAUSE OF PROBLEMS WITH DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES . I N THIS CHAP - TER WE WILL STUDY NUCLEAR REACTIONS , THE STABILITY OF THE ATOMIC NUCLEUS , RADIOACTIVITY , AND THE EFFECTS OF RADIATION ON BIO - LOGICAL SYSTEMS . 23.1 THE NATURE OF NUCLEAR REACTIONS 23.2 NUCLEAR STABILITY 23.3 NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY 23.4 NUCLEAR TRANSMUTATION 23.5 NUCLEAR FISSION 23.6 NUCLEAR FUSION 23.7 USES OF ISOTOPES 23.8 BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RADIATION 903 Back Forward Main Menu TOC Study Guide TOC Textbook Website MHHE Website
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With the exception of hydrogen ( 1 1 H), all nuclei contain two kinds of fundamental par- ticles, called protons and neutrons. Some nuclei are unstable; they emit particles and/or electromagnetic radiation spontaneously (see Section 2.2). The name for this phenom- enon is radioactivity. All elements having an atomic number greater than 83 are ra- dioactive. For example, the isotope of polonium, polonium-210 ( 210 84 Po), decays spon- taneously to 206 82 Pb by emitting an particle. Another type of radioactivity, known as nuclear transmutation, results from the bombardment of nuclei by neutrons, protons, or other nuclei. An example of a nuclear transmutation is the conversion of atmospheric 14 7 N to 14 6 C and 1 1 H, which results when the nitrogen isotope captures a neutron (from the sun). In some cases, heavier elements are synthesized from lighter elements. This type of transmutation occurs naturally in outer space, but it can also be achieved artificially, as we will see in Section 23.4. Radioactive decay and nuclear transmutation are nuclear reactions, which differ significantly from ordinary chemical reactions. Table 23.1 summarizes the differences. BALANCING NUCLEAR EQUATIONS In order to discuss nuclear reactions in any depth, we need to understand how to write and balance the equations. Writing a nuclear equation differs somewhat from writing equations for chemical reactions. In addition to writing the symbols for various chem- ical elements, we must also explicitly indicate protons, neutrons, and electrons. In fact, we must show the numbers of protons and neutrons present in every species in such an equation.
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