Nuclear Chemistry Research Report

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HSC Chemistry Assessment task 1 Nuclear Chemistry Research report 1. Distinguish between stable and radioactive isotopes and describe the conditions which a nucleus is unstable. To understand if an element is stable we first must understand what stability is. The stability of the nucleus is directly related to the strength of the forces that hold the nuclear particles together. These protons and neutrons of the nucleus are called nucleons. The force that holds these nucleons together inside the nucleus is called the strong nuclear force. This force has special properties as it is independent of charge and is stronger than the electrostatic repulsion forces between protons. This understanding of stability has allowed scientists to…show more content…
The Stable isotope does not decay and therefore, maintains a constant concentration on Earth. An unstable isotope, also known as a radioactive isotope decays. An unstable isotope may decay by the ejection of an electron or positron, known as beta decay, or by the ejection of two protons and two neutrons, known as alpha decay. 2. Describe two recent discoveries of transuranic elements explaining how they were produced. Firstly what is a transuranic element? Transuranic elements are elements with an atomic number above that of uranium with atomic number Z= 92. All transuranic elements are radioactive. The process of changing one element into another is called transmutation. The two main ways that a transuranic nucleus can be produced is by bombarding its nucleus with ions or neutrons. These ions or neutrons can be captured by the target nucleus and produce heavier nucleus. Transuranic element 1: U-238 is bombarded with neutrons it can be converted to U-239 which then undergoes beta decay to produce neptunium and plutonium. Pu-239 is changed to americium-241 by neutron…show more content…
6. Describe the way in which the above named industrial and medical radioisotopes are used and explain their use in terms of their chemical properties. Cobalt-60 is used in industrial radiography to inspect metal parts and welds for defects. Beams of radiation are directed at the object to be checked from a sealed source of Co-60. Radiographic film on the opposite side of the source is exposed when it is struck by radiation passing through the objects being tested. More radiation will pass through if there are cracks, breaks, or other flaws in the metal parts and will be recorded on the film. By studying the film, structural problems can be detected. Co-60 is used because it is an emitter of gamma rays which will penetrate metal parts. Co-60 has a half-life of 5.3 years and can be used in a chemically inert form held inside a sealed container. This enables the equipment to have a long lifetime and not require regular maintenance. Tc-99m is used in over half of the current nuclear medicine procedures, such as pinpointing brain tumors. Tc-99m can be changed to a number of oxidation states. This enables production of a wide range of biologically active chemicals. The Tc-99m is attached to a biological molecule that concentrates in the organ to be

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