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Isotopes, Half Lives and Neutron Activation

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Please see the following posting for questions regarding isotopes, half-lives and neutron activation. See attached file.

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Isotopes, half lives and neutron activation are examined in the following solution.

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1. Chemical properties of an element are largely decided by the electrons revolving around the nucleus. In any chemical reaction it is the electrons in the outermost orbit of the atom which play the major role (such as forming bonds to form compounds). The nucleus comprising the protons and neutrons does not play any significant role in chemical reactions but it defines the physical properties of the element viz. strength, ductility, melting point etc.

Different isotopes of the same element have same number of electrons revolving around their nucleus (and same number of protons in their nuclei) but different number of neutrons in their nuclei. Hence, chemical properties of the isotopes are same but their physical properties vary.

4. The force that holds the nucleus together despite presence of positively charged protons (by overcoming the strong electrostatic repulsion between them) is known as "Strong nuclear force". This force acts at extremely short range (of the order of half the diameter of a proton or neutron). Hence, this ...

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