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36 Cards in this Set

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The spontaneous decay of an unstable nucleus is called:
radioactivity.
An unstable nucleus may break apart into two or more other particles with the release of:
some energy.
You can often predict one of the particles of a radioactive decay by knowing:
the other particle.
Substances you start with are called:
reactants.
New substances that are being formed are called:
products.
The conversion of one element into another is known as:
nuclear transmutation.
Certain isotopes are unstable. What happens to them?
Their nucleus breaks apart, undergoing nuclear decay.
Sometimes the product of that nuclear decay is unstable itself and undergoes nuclear decay itself.
Why does a particular isotope decay?
The nucleus has all those positively charged protons shoved together in an extremely small space.

All those protons are repelling each other.

The forces that normally hold the nucleus together, the "nuclear glue", sometimes can't do the job, and so the nucleus breaks apart, undergoing nuclear decay.
The conversion of one element into another is known as:
nuclear transmutation.
Certain isotopes are unstable. What happens to them?
Their nucleus breaks apart, undergoing nuclear decay.
Sometimes the product of that nuclear decay is unstable itself and undergoes nuclear decay itself.
All elements with ___ or more protons are unstable.
84
They eventually undergo decay.
Other isotopes with fewer than 84 protons in their nucleus are also radioactive.

The radioactivity corresponds to the:
neutron/proton ratio in the atom.
If the neutron/proton ratio is too high (too many neutrons and too few protons), the isotope is said to be:
neutron rich.
This makes it unstable.
If the neutron/proton ratio is too low (too few neutrons or too many protons):
the isotope is unstable.
The ______ for a certain element must fall within a certain range for the element to be stable.
neutron/proton ratio
That's why some isotopes of an element are unstable and others are radioactive.
List the three primary ways that naturally occurring radioactive isotopes decay.
1. alpha particle emission
2. beta particle emission
3. gamma radiation emission
List the two less common types of radioactive decay.
1. positron emission
2. electron capture
A positively charged particle of a helium nuclei is known as:
an alpha particle.
An alpha particle is composed of:
two protons and two neutrons
a Helium-4 atom
As an alpha particle breaks away from the nucleus of a radioactive atom, it has___ electrons, so it has a ____ charge.
no,
+2
Therefore it is a positively charged particle of a helium nulei: (a cation: a positively charged ion).
Normally an alpha particle is shown with no charge because it very rapidly picks up_____ and becomes a ____.
two electrons,
a neutral helium atom instead of an ion.
Which elements tend to undergo alpha emission?
Large, heavy elements like uranium and thorium.
Each time an alpha particle is emitted, what is lost?
4 units of mass,
2 units of positive charge
2 protons and 2 neutrons are lost,
2 protons
The spontaneous breakdown of an unstable atomic nucleus with the release of particles and rays is known as:
radioactivity.
Alpha particles are:
helium nuclei.
`
The emission of an alpha particle during the decay of Uranium 238 is an example of:
nuclear change.
Which type of radiation is unaffected by magnetism?
gamma
Uranium isotopes have different:
atomic masses.
Marie and Pierre Curie discovered:
radium.
The combination of two atomic nuclei into one, accompanied by a release of energy, is called:
fusion
Nuclear changes differ from normal chemical changes in that all nuclear changes:
involve the protons and/or neutrons (nucleus) of an atom.
Carbon-14 dating could be used to estimate the age of all of the following except:
fossils, petrified wood, ancient scrolls, medieval tapestries.
medieval tapestries.
Whether or not a nuclear fission reaction becomes self-sustaining depends on the release of:
neutrons.
Atoms of Uranium-235 and Uranium-238 differ by three:
neutrons.
The hydrogen in a hydrogen bomb is converted into:
helium.
A beta particle is:
an electron.