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RADIATION AND RADIOACTIVITY Radiation is the process taking place in the atoms nucleus which allows unstable elements

to become stable. Unstable elements give off radiation. TYPES OF RADIATION Type of Decay Alpha Nuclear Change Emission of 4 2 Beta Electron Emission of 0 -1 Capture of 0 -1 Positron Emission of 0 +1 Gamma HALF-LIFE Def: Time that it takes for one-half the radioactive atoms to go to a stable form. It ranges from nanoseconds to millions of years. Uranium 238 has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Biological Half-Life Time it takes an organism to metabolize and get rid of the compound. If you had radioactive carbon, it would take 5723 years for its chemical half-life. If the carbon was in ethanol (booze), most of the carbon would be gone as carbon dioxide within 24 hours. Emission of rays no particle no particle High-energy radiation 0 +1 Positron 0 -1 Electron 0 -1 Electron Particle Particle Mass (amu) Charge 4 +2 Particle Description Helium nucleus

Nuclear Reactions Alpha Decay


226 Ra 88 211 Bi 83 ----------- 2 4 + ______________ --------- 222 Rn 86 + 4 2 0 + 0 Ra = radium Rn = radon

Bi = bismuth

Beta Emission 0 Electron -1


70 Ga 31 113 Ag 47 ------ -1 0 +1 30 P 15 23 Mg 12 -------- -------- -------- -1 0 + _____________ 0 + 70 Ge 32 Ga = gallium Ge = germanium

Ag = silver

Positron Emission
0 30 Si 14 _________ P = phosphorus Si = silicon

+1 +1 0

Mg = magnesium +

What would happen if a proton (p) gave off a positron? 1 0 p ------ + ________ +1 +1

Electron Capture An electron is captured on the left side of the equation. In the previous cases, the electrons were given off or emitted on the right side of the equation.. 2

0 -1 87 Rb 37 73 As 33 + + 0 -1 0 -1 ---------> ______ 87 ---------> Kr 36 As = arsenic Ge = Germanium Rb = rubidium Kr = krpton

Emission means a particle is given off. The radioactive particle is on the right side of the equation Capture means a particle is added. The radioactive particle is on the left side of the equation. Nuclear Fission A heavy nucleus is bombarded with neutrons.

n 0
U = uranium I = iodine Y = ytterbium

235 U 92 +

1 n 0

------>

135 I 53

97 Y 39

1 n 0

+ energy
Ba = barium

235 U 92 +

1 n 0 ------->

139 Ba 56

+ ______

1 3 n 0

+ energy

Sn = tin

Mo = molybdenum

235 U 92 +

1 n --------> 0

131 Sn 50

103 Mo 42

1 _____ n

+ energy

We use neutrons to bombard the nucleus and we get more neutrons as products along with a new element. These neutrons can then bombard new nuclei and get more neutrons and radioactive elements. This is a chain reaction. Nuclear Fusion 3

Two nuclei combine to form a new nucleus. 2 H 1 Problems: Tell whether the new element has a higher or lower atomic number than the starting element for the following cases. a) alpha decay b) electron capture c) electron emission d) positron emission e) nuclear fission f) nuclear fusion USES OF RADIOISOTOPES A) Tracers - study where the compound or element goes. The original amount is in too small a concentration to measure. By using a radioactive element in the compound, the compound can be 'seen' by the radioactivity coming off, by using a counter or a radiograph. B) Irradiation of foods It kills microorganisms responsible for spoilage. C) Radiation therapy Used in the treatment of cancer. Radiation can kill cells. The rapidly dividing cells, like cancer cells, are more susceptible to being killed. Getting the dosage correct is important, since normal cells will also be killed in the process. D) Diagnostic uses 1. Iodine-131 in KI. Used for hyperthyroid and thyroid cancer. The thyroid produces a hormone, thyroxin, which has iodine as part of the molecule. The radioactive iodine will concentrate in the thyroid. The radiation given off will kill the rapidly dividing cells. The half-life of Iodine-131 is 8.1 days. Beta and gamma rays are given off. 2. Gadolinium-153 Used to measure bone demineralization. It gives off gamma and x-rays. Scanning the bone and measurement of the bone densities are determined. 3. Technetium-99m The 'm' means metastable. It will give off radiation and go to being a more stable element. + 1 H -------> 1 3 He 2

99m Tc 43 ---------->

99 Tc 43 +

It has a half life of 6 hours.

Technetium-99 is formed from Molybdenum-99.

4. Positron Emission Tomography - PET scans Use positron emitting isotopes. The positron reacts with an electron and two gamma rays are formed. The gamma rays are given off in opposite directions. The gamma rays are measured. The instrument looks like a big donut. The patient's head or body is passed into this hole and the radiation recorded. The computer part of the instrument can 'see' where the positron and electron collided. 11 C 6 0 e +1 + -----------> 5 0 e -------> -1 2 11 B + 0 e (aka ) +1

E) Carbon dating Carbon-14 is formed by the bombardment of Nitrogen-14 with neutrons 14 N 7 + 0 1 n ---------> 14 C 6 + 1 H 1

Carbon-14 has a half life of 5730 years. If an old dead plant had one half the C-14 which is found in the earth's CO2, that means the plant was alive one half-life ago or 5730 years. The shroud of Turin was found to be from the time period of 1260 to 1390 A.D. So it is not the shroud used to wrap Christ.