Physical Science: Nuclear Chemistry

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Isotope
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atom that has the same number of pretons (atomic number) as another atom but a different number of neutrons
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Alpha Particle
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weakest type of nuclear radiation; consists of a helium nucleus released during alpha decay
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Beta Particle
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electron, created in the nucleus of an atom, released during beta decay
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Gamma Ray
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high-frequency electromagnetic wave released during gamma decay; strongest type of neclear radiation
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Half-Life
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amount of time it takes for half the atomes in a given sample of an element to decay
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Radioactive Decay
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process in which a nucleus spontaneously emits particles or rays to become lighter and more stable
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Fission
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the splitting of the nucleus of an atom into nuclei of lighter atoms, accompanied by the release of energy
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Fusion
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a thermonuclear reaction in which nuclei of light atoms join to form nuclei of heavier atoms, as the combination of deuterium atoms to form helium atoms
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Radioactivity
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release of energy and amtter that results from changes in the nucleus of an atom
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Radiometric Dating
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any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product

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