Sie sind auf Seite 1von 14

29

NUCLEAR PHYSICS NUCLEAR PHYSICS NUCLEAR PHYSICS NUCLEAR PHYSICS







The nucleus: The tiny core of an atom known as the nucleus is made up of protons and neutrons
(collectively known as nucleons) held together tightly by the short-range, but very
strong nuclear force.
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom of an element is known as the atomic number
of that element, Z. The atomic number determines the chemical properties of the element. The
total number of nucleons is known as the mass number of the element, A.
Actual masses of atomic particles are measured in terms of the unified atomic mass unit, u,
which is defined as exactly one twelfth of the mass of one whole atom (including electrons) of a
particular isotope of carbon, C-12, whose molar mass is exactly 12,00 g.
Instructional objectives: At the end of this chapter you should be able to

Define the terms: nucleus, nucleon, atomic number, mass number, atomic mass unit,
isotopes, radio-isotope, radioactivity, nuclear reaction, transmutation reaction, parent nucleus
and daughter nucleus, decay series, activity, decay constant, half-life, capture reaction,
electron-volt, breeder reactor, binding energy, fission, fusion, chain reaction, multiplication
factor, critical mass, enrichment, moderator, heavy water, control rod, thermonuclear
conditions.
Write and interpret the correct notation for protons, neutrons, electrons, positrons, deuterons,
alpha particles and neutrinos, as well as the general notation for nuclear isotopes.
List, and describe the characteristics of, the three types of radiation associated with
radioactive decay. Illustrate - and -decay graphically on A-Z axes.
Write balanced nuclear equations, applying the principles of conservation of nucleon number
and charge, in order to illustrate, inter alia,:
the processes of - and -decay;
the production and decay of
14
C;
fission and fusion reactions.
Identify such equations.
Perform numerical calculations using the radioactive decay law and its various derivatives,
including calculations concerning the activity of a sample. Describe the process of
radioactive dating, using
14
C dating as an example. Perform calculations involving half-life
(particularly the half-life of
14
C, in order to determine the age of organic samples).
List several devices suitable for detecting radiation, describing briefly the basic mechanism
involved in each.
List several uses of man-made radio-isotopes.
Describe and explain the biological dangers of nuclear radiation.
Perform numerical calculations using Einsteins equation, E = m.c
2
, in order to calculate the
binding energies (in electron-volts) of nuclei and/or the energies of reaction products as well
as the energies required to instigate nuclear reactions and the energies released in fission
and fusion reactions.
Describe thoroughly the processes and practicalities of nuclear fission and fusion and discuss
briefly the advantages and disadvantages of each.
30
23
12,00g
1
1u
12
6,022 10

=


= 1,660 54 10
-24
g = 1,660 54 10
-27
kg
NUCLEAR PHYSICS 31

Isotopes: Isotopes are atoms of the same element with the same atomic number (and therefore the
same chemical properties), but different mass numbers (because they contain different
numbers of neutrons in their nuclei).
Isotopic notation, shown alongside, is convenient both for distinguishing between
different isotopes (where X is the chemical symbol, eg carbon-12 is written as
12
6
C) and for representing other atomic particles, a selection of which is given
(together with some of their properties) in the following table:

Particle Notation Mass [u] Charge
proton p p
+

1
1
p
1
1
H 1,007 276 +e
Note: e represents the
elementary charge,
1,6 10
-19
C
neutron
n n
0

1
0
n
1,008 665 0
electron e e


0
1
e



0,000 548 6 e
positron e
+

0
1
e
+
0,000 548 6 +e
deuteron
d d
+

2
1
H

2,013 55 +e
alpha particle
4
2
He
2+
4,001 5 +2e
neutrino 0,000 0
Some isotopes are more stable than others. Nuclear instability seems to be as a result of an
imbalance between the number of protons and the number of neutrons present in a given nucleus.
This instability can occur naturally (for example, elements with Z > 82,
40
K and a few others), or as
a result of deliberately adding neutrons to the nuclei of stable isotopes, thereby creating
radioactive isotopes, known as radio-isotopes.


Radioactivity: The instability of the nucleus implies there is excess energy present which will
sooner or later be released (in the form of radiation).

Def
n
: Radioactivity is the "decay" or disintegration of nuclei, with the emission of "radiation"
There are three types of radiation, known as alpha, beta and gamma radiation:

Radiation type (particles) (particles) (rays)
Consisting of...
4
2
He
0
1
e


vhf e/m radiation
Electric charge 2+ 1 nil
Mass 4 u
1
1 850
th u
nil
Relative
penetrating power
1
(absorbed within
2,5 cm in air)
100
10 000
(most difficult against which
to shield)


Balancing nuclear equations: Two simple rules govern the representation of nuclear
reactions:
1. Conservation of charge: The sum of the atomic numbers on the left of the equation must
equal the sum of the atomic numbers on the right.
2. Conservation of nucleon number: The sum of the mass numbers on the left of the equation
must equal the sum of the mass numbers on the right.
A
Z
X

32 NUCLEAR PHYSICS

Decay types:

-decay

eg:
238 234 4
92 90 2
U Th He +
parent daughter

alpha particle

Since the original element changes, or transmutes,
into another element, this type of reaction is known
as a transmutation reaction.

-decay

eg:
212 212 0
83 84 1
Bi Po e

+
parent daughter

beta particle

particles are essentially electrons emitted from
the nucleus when a neutron transforms into a
proton within the nucleus (by emitting an electron).
Actually -decay refers to any process in which the nucleus spontaneously emits or
absorbs an electron or a positron. Furthermore, the process usually also produces a
neutrino, a particle which, as a result of its lack of charge and virtual masslessness,
interacts only very weakly with matter.
eg: n p + e

+

-decay ( radiation)
Occurs along with - and -decay to further lower the energy of the nucleus.

eg:
212 212 0
83 84 1
Bi Po e

+ +


Decay series: The daughter nuclei formed by the decay of radioactive parents are themselves
often radioactive. These then decay to form yet a third isotope, and so on. Such
successive decays are known as a decay series. In this way, radioactive isotopes
which should long ago have disappeared from the 5 billion-year-old Earth (such as
226
88
Ra with a half-life of 1 600 yr) are continually replenished.
For example, complete the adjacent
diagram showing how
238
92
U eventually
becomes the stable lead isotope
206
82
Pb
by undergoing, sequentially:
an alpha decay ()
two beta decays (2 )
four alpha decays (4 )
an alpha decay followed by a beta
decay (, ), OR a beta decay
followed by an alpha decay (, )
(, ) OR (, )

(, ) OR (, )

214
212
210
83 84 82
A
Z
NUCLEAR PHYSICS 33

Activity: While the progress of each nucleus follows a completely unpredictable time schedule,
statistically we can determine how many nuclei in a sample are likely to decay in unit time,
that is, we can determine the activity of the sample.
The activity of a sample, A, is proportional to the number of nuclei present (N). To make an
equation, we introduce a constant called the decay constant, and we have:

.
N
A N
t

= = = = = = = =


[decay/second = becquerel, Bq]
Note: 1 curie, Ci = 3,7 10
10
Bq
The negative sign follows from the fact that the number of nuclei is getting smaller. (Once a
particular parent nucleus has decayed into its daughter it cannot do it again.) The decay constant
varies from material to material. The larger it is, the more active, ie radioactive, the material is.
Solving this equation for N we get,

0
.
t
N N e

= == = the radioactive decay law
where N is the number of nuclei present after time t
has elapsed, N
0
represents the original number of
nuclei present in the sample and e is the natural
exponential whose value is e = 2,718.
The number of parent nuclei present in a sample
decreases exponentially with time as shown in the
accompanying graph for a sample of
14
C, whose
half-life is 5 730 years (qv).
Since activity is dependent on the number of nuclei present, it too decreases exponentially with
time according to a similar equation:

0
.
t
A A e

= == =
If we have to solve for t (the time it takes for the number of nuclei to decrease from N
o
to N, or the
time it takes for the activity to decrease from A
o
to A) we take natural logs on both sides of either
of the above equations and derive:

ln ln
o
N N t = = = = or ln ln
o
A A t = = = =


Half-life: The rate of decay of an isotope is more usually expressed in terms of its half-life.

Def
n
: The half-life of an isotope is the time taken for one half of the original material to
decay.
If we substitute N = N
o
into the previous equation, t becomes T
1/2
(the half-life of the material)
and we get:

1 2
0, 693
T = == =


Values for T
1/2
vary considerably: from 10
-22
s (highly radioactive materials) to 10
28
s (ie 10
21
years)
for very stable isotopes.


34 NUCLEAR PHYSICS

Radioactive dating: By measuring the current activity of a sample it is possible to determine
the number of parent nuclei still present in the sample. By comparing
this number with the number of daughter nuclei present the age of the
sample can be determined.
Cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere provide neutrons, which in turn produce the radioactive
14
C isotope according to the reaction:
14 1 15 14 1
7 0 7 6 1
N n N C H + +
Although this isotope makes up only an extremely small fraction of all carbon (1,3 10
-10
%), it is
chemically indistinguishable from ordinary carbon, so it forms CO
2
in the normal way and is
eventually ingested by all living organisms as part of their normal dietary carbon intake.
Being radioactive,
14
C undergoes -decay according to the equation:
14 14 0
6 7 1
C N e

+
The organism maintains its levels of
14
C (by eating) until it dies, after which its
14
C-to-
12
C ratio
starts to drop. After 5 730 years only half of the original amount of
14
C remains. After another
5 730 years only a quarter ()
2
remains and so on. By measuring activity levels and
determining how many half-lives have elapsed, archaeologists can calculate how long ago the
organism stopped ingesting fresh
14
C.
After about 60 000 years
14
C levels are too small to detect, and other isotopes with longer half-
lives (such as
238
92
U, found in the rocks surrounding fossils) are measured instead.


Radiation detectors: The majority of detectors make use of the fact that radiation ionises the
material through which it passes.
Photographic emulsions: The track of ionisation shows up when the emulsion is developed.
Electroscope: The leaves on a charged electroscope fall as ions neutralise the top plate.
Geiger-Mller tube: The potential difference between the central wire and the outer tube (10
3
V) is
just insufficient to ionise the gas in the tube. Incoming radiation, however, produces several
ions. The electrons freed in the process accelerate towards the wire electrode, causing an
avalanche of further ions and electrons along the way.
The arrival of this swarm of electrons at the wire
(a) causes a pulse at the counter and
(b) drops the potential between the wire and the tube, thereby switching off the
avalanche and resetting the device.

NUCLEAR PHYSICS 35

Scintillation counter: Radiation striking an atom in the scintillation crystal (scintillator) produces
photons. Each such photon which strikes the photocathode produces, in turn, a photoelectron
which is then accelerated towards the first of several dynodes in the photomultiplier tube. The
avalanche process which follows ensures a readably large signal being sent to the counter.
Semiconductor detector: Radiation passing through a reverse biassed diode forms ions which
allow for a brief period of conductivity. In other words, a pulse is sent to a counter.
Bubble chamber: Bubbles form around the track of ions caused by radiation passing through a
superheated liquid (ie a liquid above its boiling point) and show up well under side-lighting.
Earlier cloud chambers, which depended on droplets forming in a supercooled vapour (like jet
trails), were less effective owing to the low density of material.



Radio-isotopes: Bombarding otherwise stable nuclei with high energy subatomic projectiles
(accelerated in devices called accelerators, cyclotrons or betatrons) excites
these target nuclei and often creates radioactive isotopes, known as radio-
isotopes, in so-called capture reactions.
Suitable projectiles include -particles and -particles, as well as protons, electrons and neutrons.
(As Enrico Fermi realised in the 1930s, neutrons are particularly suitable since their lack of charge
enables them to approach nuclei without being deflected.)

Examples: The first artificial transmutation (Rutherford, 1919):
14 4 17 1
7 2 8 1
N He O H + + which can also be written as:
14 17
7 8
N( ,p) O
The discovery of the neutron (Chadwick, 1932):
9 4 12 1
4 2 6 0
Be He C n + + or ( )
9 12
4 6
Be ,n C
Production of plutonium fuel in a breeder reactor such as Koeberg:
238 1 239 0 239 0
92 0 93 1 94 1
U n Np e Pu 2 e

+ + +


36 NUCLEAR PHYSICS

Uses of radio-isotopes: The uses of radio-isotopes, such as those produced at iThemba LABS at
Faure, depend on their several useful properties:
1. They have the same chemical properties as the stable isotopes (so they behave the same
way, are absorbed the same way, etc), but they can be traced.
2. Decay produces radiation and particles with useful effects and known penetrative abilities.
Radio-isotopes are used for:
Tracers: For the detection of leaks; the measurement of rates of biological
absorption and flow; automatic switching in pipe lines, etc.
Gauging: To measure the thicknesses of extremely thin or inaccessible materials;
to determine the densities of fluids (eg fruit juices, milk).
Cell destruction: For sterilisation, pest control, cancer treatment etc.
Man-made fuels: Breeder reactors produce fissionable material from otherwise
unfissionable (ie useless) parts of the original fuel.


Ionisation effects: All ionising radiations (including X-rays) are dangerous as far as living tissue
is concerned. (Ionisation disrupts normal cellular activity, leading to cell
death or genetic mutation.)
The lethal dose (for humans) is 500 rem (roentgen man equivalent) absorbed over a reasonably
short period. (A roentgen is the amount of radiation which will cause a charge of +1 or 1 in
1 cm
3
of dry air.) For genetic effects, the absorption time is immaterial.
Lethal doses for other organisms vary considerably: for cows a dose of 180 rem is fatal, while
insects (including the notorious cockroach) will only succumb after 2 000 to 100 000 rem.

Source "Background" radiation levels [mrem]
sun 30
earth 90 (but up to 12 000!!)
humans 22
television 10
Koeberg (at fence) 10


Energy from nuclei: The total mass of a stable nucleus is always less than the sum of the
masses of its constituent protons and neutrons. The missing mass,
known as the mass defect, m, is converted into the binding energy
required to hold the components together, according to Einstein's
equation:

2
. E mc = == =
The energies associated with individual nuclear particles are extremely small and the joule unit
becomes cumbersome, so instead we use the electron-volt, the energy an electron has after it
has been accelerated through a potential difference of 1 V. Hence, 1 eV = 1,602 2 x 10
-19
J.
Furthermore, because of the equivalence of mass and energy, physicists commonly refer to
nuclear masses in terms of electron-volts:
1 u = 1,660 54 10
-27
kg, which is equivalent to an energy
( )
2
27 8
2
19
1,66054 10 2,9979 10
E m.c
1,6022 10


= =

= 931,5 MeV
NUCLEAR PHYSICS 37

The binding energy of a nucleus is the amount of energy required to tear the nucleus apart into its
constituent protons and neutrons, or, conversely, the amount of energy released when all these
components combine to form the complete nucleus.
For example, the most stable isotope of iron,
56
26
Fe , made up of 26 protons (and 26 electrons) and
30 neutrons [ie (26 1,007 276) + (26 0,000 548 6) + (30 1,008 665) = 56,463 5 u] has an
actual mass of only 55,934 9 u. The mass defect m = 56,463 5 55,934 9 = 0,528 6 u
corresponds to a binding energy of 0,528 6 u 931.5 MeV/u = 492,4 MeV. (When calculating
nuclear energies, care must be taken to include the mass of electrons where appropriate.)
The average binding energy per nucleon is defined as the total binding energy of a nucleus
divided by the number of nucleons, A. So for iron-56, the average binding energy per nucleon is
492,4 56 = 8,8 MeV, a relatively high value, indicating the tightness with which iron-56s nuclei
are held together, and hence the stability of the nuclei. A plot of average binding energy per
nucleon as a function of atomic number reveals the enormous energies available from two quite
different nuclear processes.
The drooping of the curve at high
mass numbers indicates that heavy
nuclei such as those of uranium are
not as tightly bound as those of the
middle-mass elements. A uranium
nucleus will become much more
stable, releasing large amounts of
energy (about a million times more
than in a normal chemical reaction),
if it splits into two middle-mass nuclei
in a process dubbed nuclear fission
by Lise Meitner in 1938.
Conversely, the left side of the graph
shows energy will also be released
when two nuclei with low mass
numbers combine to form a single
middle-mass nucleus in the prodess known as nuclear fusion.


Fission: For example:
235 1 141 92 1
92 0 56 36 0
U n Ba Kr 3 n + + + (200 MeV)
The key to the release of huge amounts of energy from
the fissioning of heavy nuclei such as U-235 is the
chain reaction inherent in the process. 1 n 3 n.
If all three of the neutrons formed in the above reaction
go on to be captured in turn by other U-235 nuclei (ie
the multiplication factor f = 3), the reaction quickly
multiplies into an explosion of energy. For the reaction
to be self-sustaining, f 1.
The multiplication factor is determined not only by the
number of neutrons available, but also by the purity of
the fuel, the mass of fissionable fuel present (so-called
critical mass must be reached before a sustained
reaction is possible), the shape in which the fuel is
arranged, and the speed of the neutrons.
235
U forms only 0,7% of naturally occurring uranium, which is mostly
238
U, so enrichment is
necessary to increase the percentage to 3,25%. (
238
U does not absorb neutrons and therefore
does not fission). Even
235
U can absorb only slow moving (so-called thermal) neutrons, so the
high energy neutrons formed in the fission reaction have to be slowed down by a moderator, such

10
8
6
4
2
0
B
i
n
d
i
n
g

e
n
e
r
g
y

p
e
r

n
u
c
l
e
o
n

[
M
e
V
]

Mass number, A
100 150 250 50 200
1
1
H
2
1
H
4
2
He
16
8
O
56
26
Fe 120
50
Sn
238
92
U

n U
Kr
Ba
n
n
n
U
U
U
Kr
Kr
Ba
Ba
Kr
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
n
Ba
38 NUCLEAR PHYSICS

as heavy water. (Ordinary water, made of
1
H, absorbs neutrons, so water containing large
amounts of deuterium,
2
H, is used instead.)
In pressurised water reactors (PWRs), such as at Koeberg power station, the multiplication factor
is kept at a value of precisely 1 with the aid of control rods. Lowering these rods (made of
neutron-absorbing cadmium or boron) into the core lowers the value of f (and can shut the reaction
down completely if and when necessary), while judiciously raising them permits the reaction to
proceed at a carefully controlled rate, producing enough heat to turn water into the steam which
then drives a turbine connected to an electric generator.

The major problem with fission reactors in general and breeder reactors in particular (aside from
the issue of operating safety) is the storage of radioactive waste. The containing and burying of
nuclear material (at Vaalputs in this country) is only a short-term solution. Long-term solutions
have yet to be found.


Fusion: Fusion, the smashing together of light nuclei to form heavier nuclei, is a much "cleaner"
reaction, since it produces no radioactive material. Moreover, as can be seen from the
binding energy plot opposite, fusion reactions produce more energy per nucleon than fission
reactions do.
The difficulty at present is that fusion occurs only at incredibly high pressures and temperatures
(10
8
K). On Earth such thermonuclear conditions are currently available only inside an
uncontrolled fission reaction, ie a fission bomb. So-called "cold" fusion is the object of much
research, but is not yet a commercial reality.
Under the specified conditions, ionised deuterium atoms (deuterons) co-exist with their unbonded
electrons in a plasma and collide with each other, fusing and forming helium
2 2 3 1
1 1 2 0
H H He n + + (3,27 MeV)
or tritium and hydrogen
2 2 3 1
1 1 1 1
H H H H + + (4,03 MeV)
or deuterium ions and tritium ions fuse to form helium:
2 3 4 1
1 1 2 0
H H He n + + (17,59 MeV)
The fusion process which drives the sun, known as the proton-proton cycle, is even more efficient:
1 1 2 0
1 1 1 1
H H H e + + + (0,42 MeV)
NUCLEAR PHYSICS 39

+ + He H H
3
2
2
1
1
1
(5,49 MeV)
H H He He He
1
1
1
1
4
2
3
2
3
2
+ + + (12,86 MeV)
40 TUTORIAL NUCLEAR PHYSICS

MULTIPLE CHOICE MULTIPLE CHOICE MULTIPLE CHOICE MULTIPLE CHOICE

1.1 The number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom of Ba-137 is
A 56 B 81 C 137 D 193


1.2 Which of the following types of radiation has the greatest penetrative power?
A alpha particles B beta particles C gamma rays D X rays


1.3 The product of the gamma decay of the aluminium isotope
27
13
Al is
A
27
12
Mg B Al
26
13
C
27
13
Al D
27
14
Si


1.4 When
213
Bi decays into
213
Po, it emits
A an alpha particle B a beta particle C a gamma ray D a proton


1.5 Radioactive polonium
214
84
Po decays by the emission of an alpha particle to
A
214
83
Bi B
210
82
Pb C
214
85
At D
210
83
Bi


1.6 The half-life of a certain radioactive isotope is 6 hours. If we start out with 10 g of the isotope,
after one day there will be
A none left B 0,6 g left C 1,6 g left D 2,5 g left


1.7 After ten years 75 g of an original sample of 100 g of a certain radioactive isotope have decayed.
The half-life of this isotope is
A 5 years B 7,5 years C 20 years D 40 years


1.8 The half-life of a certain radioactive element is 3 seconds. Starting with n atoms
A there will be n/4 atoms remaining after 12 seconds
B there will be n/8 atoms remaining after 24 seconds
C three-quarters of the atoms will have decayed after 6 seconds
D seven-eighths of the atoms will have decayed after 21 seconds


1.9 The isotope
210
Bi has a half-life of 5 days. The time taken for seven-eighths of a sample to
decay is
A 3,4 days B 10 days C 15 days D 20 days


1.10 By "chain reaction" is meant
A the joining together of protons and neutrons to form atomic nuclei
B the joining together of light nuclei to form heavy ones
C the burning of uranium in a special type of furnace called a nuclear reactor
D the successive fissioning of heavy nuclei caused by neutrons emitted during the fission of
other nuclei

NUCLEAR PHYSICS TUTORIAL 41


1.11 The sun's energy comes from
A radioactivity
B nuclear fission
C the conversion of helium to hydrogen
D the conversion of hydrogen to helium


EXERCISES EXERCISES EXERCISES EXERCISES (Consult tables of atomic masses on pages 30 and 40 where necessary)

2. Complete the following nuclear reactions:
2.1 n Be ? Li
1
0
7
4
6
3
+ +
2.2
10 7 4
5 3 2
B ? Li He + +
2.3
35 32 4
17 16 2
Cl ? S He + +


3. A nucleus of
15
N is struck by a proton. A nuclear reaction then takes place with the emission of
either a neutron or an alpha particle. Give the atomic number, mass number, and chemical name
of the remaining nucleus in each of these cases and write each equation in both isotopic and
condensed formats.


4. The lead isotope
82
214
Pbdecays into the bismuth isotope
83
214
Bi .
4.1 Write the balanced equation for the transformation.
4.2 Name the kind of decay which occurs .


5. Plutonium-239 captures a neutron and releases gamma radiation. The resulting radio-isotope then
undergoes -decay. Write balanced nuclear equations to illustrate these processes.


6. A laboratory prepares a 6 g sample of
13
N (T
1/2
= 600 s).
6.1 Calculate the initial activity of the sample.
6.2 How long will it take for its activity to drop to less than 10
6
Bq?


7. How many
14
C nuclei are still present in a sample with an activity of 3,83 10
10
Bq? If the sample
originally contained 8,00 10
22
C-14 nuclei, how old is it?


8. Given that the half-life of radium-226 is 1 600 years, calculate:
8.1 how many disintegrations occur per hour in a 25 mg sample;
8.2 how long it will take for
15
/
16
of the sample to decay.


9.
99
43
Tc has an excited state which decays by emission of a gamma ray. If the half-life of the
excited state is 6 hours, determine the activity (in curies) of a 1 mg sample of this isotope.


10. An archaeologist determines that an old bone fragment contains only 3,125% of its original
14
C
content.
10.1 How long ago did the animal die?
10.2 What percentage of the original isotope would remain after 60 000 years?

42 TUTORIAL NUCLEAR PHYSICS


11. The activity of a sample of Th-90 is observed to be 12,5% of its original amount 54 days after the
sample was prepared. What is the half-life of Th-90?


12. If the
23
Na isotope has a mass of 22,989 77 u, determine:
12.1 the binding energy of the nucleus;
12.2 the average binding energy per nucleon of this isotope.


13. Polonium-210 decays into lead-206.
13.1 Write a balanced equation for the decay.
13.2 What type of decay is this?
13.3 Determine the total kinetic energy of the reaction products.


14. What minimum energy must an alpha particle possess in order to initiate the reaction
( )
14 17
7 8
N ,p O ?


15. Will the reaction ( )
13 13
6 7
C p,n N occur if carbon-13 is bombarded with 2,0 MeV protons?


16. A deuteron and a triton (a tritium nucleus) fuse to form an alpha particle and a neutron.
16.1 Write the equation for the reaction.
16.2 Determine the amount of energy released in the process.


17. By listing briefly (in table form) their major advantages and disadvantages, compare fission and
fusion reactions as sources of energy.


18. A nuclear reactor operates at a 10
9
W power level. Calculate the amount of:
18.1 energy produced each day;
18.2 mass lost each day.


19. Estimate the mass of uranium required to run a 1 000 MW power reactor per year of continuous
operation, assuming an efficiency of about 33%.


20. The Suns mass is about 2,0 10
30
kg and its radius is 6,96 10
8
m. If its surface temperature is
5 800 K, calculate:
20.1 the radiant power of the sun;
20.2 the amount of mass it loses every second;
20.3 how long it will continue to shine at this rate.


20.4 What mass of
235
92
U is needed to build a 20 kiloton fission bomb?


Atomic masses of selected isotopes [u]
1
1
H 1,007 825
4
2
He 4,002 603
14
7
N 14,003 074
206
82
Pb 205,974 47
2
1
H 2,014 102
13
6
C 13,003 355
17
8
O 16,999 16
210
84
Po 209,982 88
3
1
H 3,016 049
13
7
N 13,005 738
56
26
Fe 55,934 940