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chap9Nuclear - Nuclear Definition Radioactivity some atoms...

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1 Nuclear Definition: Radioactivity- some atoms of specific isotopes spontaneously emit energy and particles (radiation). Usually from an unstable nucleus. This reaction results in an alteration in nuclear composition. 1) There are three types of radiation emitted. All are ionizing radiation- produce ions in material that it penetrates. Can cause illness and damage. a) alpha particles ( α )- has 2 protons and 2 neutrons which is the same as a helium atom. Shielding: paper, clothing. He 4 2 2+ He 4 2 He 2+ Damage: Is dangerous to tissue if ingested. EX. U 238 92 He 4 2 + Th 234 90 b) Beta particles ( β )- is an electron. Formed when a neutron becomes a proton. Shielding: Heavy clothing, lab coats, gloves EX. e 0 -1 β 0 -1 β N 16 7 e 0 -1 + O 16 8 Damage: Low penetrating, can damage eyes, skin
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2 c) Gamma rays ( γ )- no mass, it’s a high powered ray. Is a result of meta stable isotopes which are unstable, breaking down to give off gamma rays. Can also be formed from other types of radiation. Shielding: lead, thick concrete. EX. Tc 99m 43 + γ Tc 99 43 More common: I 131 53 + e 0 -1 γ Xe 131 54 + 2) Half-life (t ½ )- time required for one half of a substance to undergo a change. Each isotope has a specific ½ life. Formula: Mf = Mi(.5) n n = number of ½ lives. 3) Radioactive dating- measure isotopic ratios as a function of ½ life.
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