IUHS CHEMISTRY – CHAPTER 24 NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY

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nucleus
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the extremely small, positively charged, dense center of an atom that contains positively charged protons, neutral neutrons, and is surrounded by empty space through which one or more negatively charged electrons move
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radioisotopes
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isotopes of atoms that have unstable nuclei and emit radiation to attain more stable atomic configurations.
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x-ray
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a form of high-energy, penetrating electromagnetic radiation emitted from some materials that are in an excited electron state
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penetrating power
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the ability of radiation to pass through matter
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transmutation
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the conversion of an atom of one element to an atom of another element
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nucleons
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the positively charged protons and neutral neutrons contained in an aton’s nucleus
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strong nuclear force
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a force that acts on subatomic particles that are extremely close together
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band of stability
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the region on a graph within which all stable nuclei are found when plotting the number of neutrons versus the number of protons
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positron emission
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a radioactive decay process in which a proton in the nucleus is converted into a neutron and a positron, and then the positron is emitted from the nucleus
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electron capture
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a radioactive decay process that occurs when an atom’s nucleus draws in a surrounding electron, which combines with a proton to form a neutron, resulting in an C-ray photon being emitted
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radioactive decay series
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a series of nuclear reactions that starts with an unstable nucleus and results in the formation of a stable nucleus
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half-life
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the time required for one half of a radio isotope’s nuclei to decay into its products
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rediochemical dating
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the process that is used to determine the age of an object by measuring the amount of a certain redioisotope remaining in that object
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unstable (science usage)
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spontaneously radioactive
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induced transmutation
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the process in which nuclei are bombarded with high velocity charged particles in order to create new elements
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transuranium element
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an element with an atomic number of 93 or greater in the periodic table
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mass defect
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the difference in mass between a nucleus and its component nucleons
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nuclear fusion
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the process of binding smaller atomic muclei into a single, larger, and more stable nucleus
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critical mass
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the minimum mass of a sample of fissionable material necessary to sustain a nuclear chain reaction
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breeder reactor
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a nuclear reactor that is able to produce more fuel than it uses
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nuclear fission
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the splitting of a nucleus into small, more stable fragments, accompanied by a large release of energy
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thermonuclear reaction
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a nucleus fusion reaction
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isotope
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an atom of the same element with the same number of protons but different number of neutrons
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ionizing radiation
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radiation that is energetic enough to ionize matter ir collides with
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radiotracer
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an isotope that emits non-ionizing radiation and is used to signal the presence of an element or specific substance; can be used to analyze complex chemical reactions mechanisms and to diagnose disease
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positron
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a particle that has the same mass as an electron but an opposite charge
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radioactivity
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the process by which some substances spontaneously emit radiation
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mass number
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the number after an element’s name, representing the sum of its protons and neutrons

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