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NUCLEAR REACTION AND RADIOACTIVITY

Submitted by:
Ian Joel G. Santiago Janne Riel B. Santos

Submitted to:
Professor Liwayway Velasquez

Nuclear transmutation
Transmutation, the changing of one chemical element into another. it involves a change in the nucleus, or core, of an atom and is, therefore, a nuclear reaction. An atom contains a nucleus that is made up of protons and neutrons and surrounded by electrons. The number of protons gives the atom its identity as a chemical element. When the number of protons in an atom is changed, the atom is transmuted into an atom of another element. Transmutation may be either natural or artificial.

Natural transmutation
It is responsible for the creation of all the chemical elements we observe naturally. Most of this happened in the distant past. One type of natural transmutation observable in the present occurs when certain radioactive elements present in nature spontaneously decay by a process that causes transmutation, such as alpha or beta decay.

Artificial Nuclear Transformations


It is possible, under the right conditions, for us to transform one element into another. This is done by "slamming" a particle into a nucleus, causing the nucleus to change and therefore the identity or the mass of the atom. Alpha particles can be used to transform one nucleus into another. Since the nucleus of the alpha particle is positive and the nucleus of the atom being bombarded is also positive, the particles will naturally repel each other. In order to over come this repulsion, the reaction must be performed at very high speeds (speed of light). These speeds are achieved using particle accelerators.

Nuclear fission
Nuclear fission is a nuclear process. It is when an atom splits apart into smaller atoms. The process gives off a lot of energy, and is used in nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors.It is either a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of a particle splits into smaller parts (lighter nuclei). The fission process often produces free neutrons and photons (in the form of gamma rays), and releases a very large amount of energy even by the energetic standards of radioactive decay.

Fission is a form of nuclear transmutation because the resulting fragments are not the same element as the original atom. The two nuclei produced are most often of comparable but slightly different sizes, typically with a mass ratio of products of about 3 to 2, for common fissile isotopes.

In nuclear fission, A large nucleus is bombarded with a small particle The nucleus splits into smaller nuclei and several neutrons Large amounts of energy are released

When a neutron bombards 235U, An unstable nucleus of 236U undergoes fission (splits) The nucleus splits to release large amounts of energy Smaller nuclei are produced, such as Kr-91 and Ba-142 Neutrons are also released to bombard more 235U nuclei

In a nuclear chain reaction, the fission of each U-235 atom produces three neutrons that cause the nuclear fission of more and more uranium-235 atoms.

E = mc2
The total mass of the products in this reaction is slightly less than the mass of the starting materials. The missing mass has been converted into energy, consistent with the famous equation derived by Albert Einstein, E = mc2. E is the energy released, m is the mass lost, and c is the speed of light, 3.0 108 m/s. Using this equation, a small amount of mass is multiplied by the speed of light squared, resulting in a large amount of energy. Fission of 1 g U-235 produces same energy as 3 tons of coal.

Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process of making a single heavy nucleus (part of an atom) from two lighter nuclei. This process is called a nuclear reaction. It releases a large amount of energy.[1] The nucleus made by fusion is heavier than either of the starting nuclei. However, it is not as heavy as the combination of the original mass of the starting nuclei (atoms). This lost mass is changed into lots of energy. This is shown in Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation.

Occurs at extremely high temperatures (100 000 000 C) Combines small nuclei into larger nuclei Releases large amounts of energy Occurs continuously in the sun and stars

Radiation
It is a process in which energetic particles or energetic waves travel through a vacuum, or through matter-containing media that are not required for their propagation. Waves of a mass filled medium itself, such as water waves or sound waves, are usually not considered to be forms of "radiation" in this sense. Radiation can be classified as either ionizing or non-ionizing according to whether it ionizes or does not ionize ordinary chemical matter. The word radiation is often colloquially used in reference to ionizing radiation (e.g. x-rays, gamma rays), but the term radiation may correctly also refer to non-ionizing radiation (e.g., radio waves, microwaves, heat or visible light) as well. The particles or waves radiate (i.e., travel outward in all directions) from a source. This aspect leads to a system of measurements and physical units that are applicable to all types of radiation. Because radiation expands as it passes through space, and as its energy is conserved (in vacuum), the power of all types of radiation follows an inverse-square law in relation to the distance from its source.

In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered, almost by accident, that uranium can blacken a photographic plate, even in the dark. Uranium emits very energetic radiation - it is radioactive. Then Marie and Pierre Curie discovered more radioactive elements including polonium and radium. Scientists soon realised that there were three different types of radiation. These were called alpha (), beta (), and gamma () rays from the first three letters of the Greek alphabet.

Transmutation
Artificial Transformation The process of striking nuclei with high energy particles in order to change them into new elements

Natural Vs. Artificial


In Natural Transmutation a nucleus spontaneously decays into another nucleus by emitting one of several particles Induced or artificial transmutation require one particle to be slammed into another to induce the change

Radioactive Decay
The process in which atomic nuclei emit particles or rays to become lighter and more stable. The spontaneous breakdown of an unstable atomic nucleus. There are three types of radioactive decay, alpha decay, beta decay and gamma decay, each determined by the type of radiation released.

Alpha Decay
Occurs when a nucleus releases an alpha particle. The release of an alpha particle (2 protons and 2 neutrons) decreases the atomic mass of the nucleus by 4 and decreases the atomic number by 2. Example: Uranium-238 has an atomic mass of 238 and an atomic number of 92. Therefore, it has 92 protons and 146 neutrons (Atomic mass minus atomic number). When undergoes alpha decay or loses an alpha particle, it changes into an atom of Thorium which has 90 protons and 144 neutrons.

Beta Decay
Occurs when a nucleus releases a beta particle. A beta particle is an electron formed inside the nucleus when a neutron breaks apart. The other particle that is formed is a proton. The release of a beta particle increases the atomic number by 1 because of the additional proton formed. Example: Carbon-14 has 6 protons and 8 neutrons. When in undergoes beta decay, it changes to an atom of Nitrogen-14 which has 7 protons and 7 neutrons. The atomic number of Carbon-14 is 6 and the atomic number of Nitrogen is 7.

Gamma Decay
Alpha and beta decay are almost always accompanied by gamma decay, which involves the release of a gamma ray.

When a gamma ray is emitted by a nucleus, the nucleus does not change into a different nucleus but because a gamma ray is an extremely high-energy wave, the nucleus makes a transition to a lower energy state.

Radioactive Half-Life
The period of time in which a radioactive element decays. The amount of time it takes for half the atoms in a given sample of an element to decay. Example: Suppose you had 20 grams of pure Barium-139. Its half-life is 86 minutes. So after 86 minutes, half of the atoms would have decayed into another element. You would have 10 grams of Barium-139. After another 86 minutes, you would only have 5 grams of Barium-139 which is one-fourth of what you originally had.

Decay Series
The series of steps by which a radioactive nucleus decays into a nonradioactive nucleus. Example: The decay series for Uranium-238

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_decay http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuclear/radact.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fission http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/fission.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nucene/fusion.html http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuclear/radser.html Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick and Walker