Lecture1Radioactivity_001

Lecture1Radioactivity_001 - Lecture 1: Radioactivity,...

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Lecture 1: Radioactivity, Radiation and the Structure of the atom Consider the periodic Table. Atoms combine (form bonds) to make molecules in compounds. Molecules have shape and can react to form other molecules. Atomic reactivity is a consequence of electronic structure. All molecules inorganic, organic, and biological have atoms as their building blocks. Where did the building blocks come from? Solar System abundances Why does one have the peaks and valleys (structure)?
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You have no doubt heard that at the “heart of every atom” is a nucleus. How did this picture emerge? What is the structure of the nucleus? What reactions do nuclei undergo? What are the biological effects of radiation? What are the “facts” regarding nuclear power? These are some of the questions we will address in this course !
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Nuclear/Radiochemistry is certainly central to this new diagnostic tool! Nuclear chemistry today is active as basic science, an analytic tool, a therapeutic tool.
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We are constantly bombarded with radiation from above (Cosmic rays) and below (ores in the earth). Let’s begin with Henri Becquerel. About 1880 he prepared potassium uranyl sulfate: K 2 UO 2 (SO 4 ) 2 .2H 2 O and experimented with it. He was exploring the phenomenon of fluoresence . On Feb. 24, 1896 Henri Becquerel reported his first results. After exposure to bright sunlight, the crystals emitted a radiation that blackened a photographic plate after going through black paper, glass, and other substances. Subsequently he found the effect had nothing to do with the sunlight. Other uranous salts, solutions containing uranium, and even what was believed to be uranium metal all exhibited the same behavior. [“ Chance favors the prepared mind .”- Louis Pasteur] RADIOACTIVITY IS A SPONTANEOUS PROCESS.
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On the invisible rays emitted by phosphorescent bodies . [read before the French Academy of Science 2 March 1896 ( Comptes Rendus 122 , 501 (1896)) translated by Carmen Giunta] In the previous session, I summarized the experiments which I had been led to make in order to detect the invisible rays emitted by certain phosphorescent bodies, rays which pass through various bodies that are opaque to light. I was able to extend these observations, and although I intend to continue and to elaborate upon the study of these phenomena, their outcome leads me to announce as early as today the first results I obtained. The experiments which I shall report were done with the rays emitted by crystalline crusts of the double sulfate of uranyl and potassium [SO 4 (UO)K+H 2 O], a substance whose phosphorescence is very vivid and persists for less than 1/100th of a second. The characteristics of the luminous rays emitted by this material have been studied previously by my father, and in the meantime I have had occasion to point out some interesting peculiarities which these luminous rays manifest.
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Lecture1Radioactivity_001 - Lecture 1: Radioactivity,...

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