TOPIC AREA 1 - Production of Materials Nuclear Chemistry
Distinguish between stable and radioactive isotopes and describe the conditions under which a nucleus is unstable
Radioisotopes emit 3 types of radiation, alpha (α), beta (β) and gamma (ɣ). A stable isotope does not decay, and logically does not emit radiation. An unstable isotope will emit these 3 types of radiation due to the nucleus having too many or to little neutrons in the nucleus.
Describe how transuranic elements are produced
Transuranic elements are elements which are the elements past Uranium in atomic Number (past 92). They are synthesised (manmade) in either a nuclear reaction (neutron bombardment) or in a particle accelerator when particle are accelerated together and combine due to high speeds.
Example of neutron bombardment:
Uranium-238 bombarded with neutrons to make neptunium-239
92238U+01n→ 92239U Beta Decay93239Np+-10e
Example of Particle acceleration
Lead + Calcium give Nobelium nucleus
Describe how commercial radioisotopes are produced
Commercial radioisotopes are produced the same way as transuranic elements by using neutron bombardment or by a particle accelerator. It usually more sensible and cheaper to make commercial radioisotopes, due to particle acceleration being used for to make particles beyond the 95 atomic number region.
Identify instruments and processes that can be used to detect radiation
Some instruments used to detect radiation include, Photographic Film, Geiger-Müller Tubes, Thermo-luminescent Dosimeters (TLD) and Scintillation Counters.
* Photographic film – Radiation affects film the same way light does. To check for a degree of radioactive exposure, the film is developed and analysed for radiation.
* Geiger-Müller Tubes – A sealed gas tube with thin mica window at one end. The gas inside usually a noble gas is ionised by radiation entering the tube. This causes current to flow...