Chapter 9: Nucleus

What fundamental forces determine the stability of the nucleus?

Compare the size of the nucleus to the size of the atom.

How are the sizes of such small things measured?

What is radioactivity and why does it happen?

Describe the three most common types of radioactivity.

Which of the types of radioactivity is most dangerous outside your body? ... inside your body?

How do the energies involved in radioactivity compare with those in atomic spectra, visible light, etc.?

What is meant by radioactive half-life? Given an amount of a radioactive substance, how much will remain after three half-lives?

What effect will raising the temperature of a radioactive substance have on its half-life? What effect will combining it into a chemical compound have? If a radioactive sample is vaporized, will that decrease its half-life?

How can you tell if an amount of radiation is a health hazard?

What kind of objects may be dated by carbon dating? About what maximum age would you expect to be able to determine with carbon dating?

What do you mean by "clocks in the rocks"? What sources of uncertainties are inherent within radioactive dating techniques?

How can energy be obtained by nuclear fission? What isotopes are useful for such energy processes?

How can energy be obtained by nuclear fusion? What fuels seem to be most practical there?

Outline the difficulties which have been encountered with nuclear fission energy production.

If fission has problems, why don't we use fusion instead?

Given that fusion requires incredibly high temperatures, how do we contain such hot stuff?

What is a fast breeder reactor?

What is the role of the water which jackets the fuel in U.S. nuclear reactors? What do you mean by "moderation" in this context and why is it necessary?

If you were told that you had been accidentally exposed to a radiation dose of 10 millirems, what would that mean to you? Are you doomed? Can you just ignore it?

What kinds of radioactive isotopes are most dangerous if released into the environment and why?

Why does nuclear fission produce so many radioactive byproducts compared to nuclear fusion?

What is meant by "critical mass"? If a nuclear fission reactor has more than a critical mass of uranium-235, does that mean it can explode like a bomb?

*Nuclear forces

*Nuclear scale model

*Rutherford scattering





*Energies of radioactivity


*Half-life concepts

*Radiation risk

*Carbon dating

*Clocks-in -the-rocks

*Energy from mass

*Fission energy

*Fusion energy

*Three-mile Island


*Magnetic bottle

*Inertial confinement

*Fast breeder reactor

*Water moderator

*Meet the millirem

*Radiation risk



*Fission fragments

*Critical mass

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