Nuclear Review


The following downloads will be useful in your preparation for the next exam.

The Nuclear Atom
Fission and Fusion


Radiation and Radioactive Decay 

Alpha, beta, and gamma radiation produce different amounts and kinds of damage in matter and have different penetrations.Three mostcommon forms of readioactive decay (alpha, beta, and gamma) and know how the nucleus changes in each type of decay.


Nuclear Energy


How Things Work : How Nuclear Energy Works


Nuclear Fission

Nuclear Fusion


Fission and Fusion

The energy release per gram of material is much larger in nuclear fision or fission reactions than in chemical reactions.




Nuclear Forces

Protons and neutrons in the nucleus are held together by nuclear forces that overcome teh electromagnetic repulsion between the protons



Naturally occurring isotopes of elements are radioactive, as are isotopes formed in nuclear reactions.



Protons and neutrons have substructures and consist of particles called quarks.

Balancing Nuclear Equations




  1. Radiation: The emission of electromagnetic waves or particles
    Isotopes: Same element different atomic mass
    Helium-4: 2 protons, 2 neutrons
    Helium-5: 2 protons, 3 neutrons

    forces at work: protons are positively charged; neutrons have no charge

    strong nuclear force: it binds nucleons together; range of one nucleons; only attracts nucleons next to it
    electromagnetic force: each proton propels other protons; effects every proton; has more dominance than the strong nuclear force

    if the nuclei’s have too many neutrons it becomes slightly unstable

    strong force interactions: proton-proton; neutron-neutron; proton-neutron (twice as strong)
    creates an instability curve

    Geiger counter: Picks up radiation; You can date how old the earth is.

    As you go up the periodic table, the difference between protons and neutrons will increase. You need way more neutrons to hold together more protons

    Radiation works like this:
    Alpha decay—positive charge
    Helium, cannot even move past a piece of paper
    Beta decay—negative charge
    Election, will be stopped by aluminum
    Gamma decay—no radiation
    Energy given off, can only be stopped by soil or lead
    Nuclear energy
    Based on harnessing the energy released when the atomic nucleus is flipped

    Balance of forces within the nucleus is a push pull that stabilizes the nucleus.
    Nuclear fission is created when a heavy nucleus can be pushed over the edge by adding one more neutron.
    Fossil fuels create enormous qualities of CO2 that has a large effect in fossil climate.
    Nuclear effect is a concern

  2. How does nuclear energy work?
    A nuclear reactor produces electricity in much the same way other power plants do. Some form of energy creates heat, which turns water into steam. The pressure of the steam turns a generator, which produces electricity. The difference is in how the heat is created. Power plants that run on fossil fuels burn coal, oil or natural gas to generate heat. In a nuclear energy facility, heat is produced from splitting atoms – a process called nuclear fission.

    Although this idea can be complex, learning about nuclear energy and how plants work is really interesting and important to learn about. We know that nuclear energy is a hugely significant thing that helps in everyday life.

    What is nuclear fission?
    a nuclear reaction in which a heavy nucleus splits spontaneously or on impact with another particle, with the release of energy.

    Radioactive decay (also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity) is the process by which the nucleus of an unstable atom loses energy by emitting radiation, including alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, and conversion electrons. A material that spontaneously emits such radiation is considered radioactive.

    Learning about fission and decay seems has helped me seem some of the intricacies behind nuclear activity. Although it can be tedious to learn about, there is something interesting about the scientific design of this subject and how it relates to real life applications.