P219lecture24nuclear - Goal To understand the basics of...

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Goal: To understand the basics of nuclear physics Objectives: 1) To learn about Atomic number and weight 2) To be able to find the Size of nucleus 3) To understand Fusion and Fission 4) To learn about Binding Energy 5) To learn about How all the elements are made 6) To learn about the Hydrogen Bomb and other uses for nuclear power such as power plants
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Atomic number (Z) The atomic number is the number of protons an atom has in its nucleus (and electrons if it is not “ionized”). Each different element has its own atomic number.
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Atomic Weight Each atom has some number of neutrons. The # of neutrons is N. Most atoms lighter than iron have 1 neutron per proton. Atoms with a lot more neutrons than protons tend to be unstable.
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Size of a nucleus Each proton and neutron gets squeezed together. The nucleus will almost always have the same density which is the density of matter. This is 10 14 g/cm 3 or 100 trillion times the density of water. As for the radius, since the volume of the nucleus depends on the cube of the radius and the number of particles therefore: r = r 0 * A 1/3 And r 0 = 1.2 fm
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Atoms The density for the total atom includes the electrons, so it is mostly empty space (like finding the density of our solar system). Larger atoms have their electrons closer to the atoms, so their densities are larger. So, while atoms all have the same density of nucleus, they do not have the same density.
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Fusion + Fission Fusion is taking two atoms and combining them together. This is the power source that powers stars. Fission is breaking an atom into more than 1 atom. This is what powers nuclear plants. Often time an “alpha” particle is released – which is just a helium nucleus.
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Binding energy It takes some amount of energy to glue the atoms together.
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