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Nuclear Charge and Nuclear Power

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1. Which of the following three types of radiation is the most penetrating?
(a) Alpha particles
(b) Beta particles
(c) Gamma rays

2. Give the type and approximate amount of material required to stop each of the following:
(a) Alpha particles
(b) Beta particles
(c) Gamma rays

3. Which radioisotope sample is more hazardous,
1 g of 238
92U with a half-life of 4.5 billion years or

1 g of 222
86Rn with a half-life of 3 days?

Explain your choice.

4. What is wrong with the following nuclear equation?
42 He + 2713Al ͢͢͢ → 4915 P + 10n

5. Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days. Approximately what fraction of iodine-131 will remain after 1 month (31 days) What are the electrical charges and relative masses for the following?
(a) Beta particles
(b) Alpha particles
(c) Gamma rays
(d) Positrons
(e) Neutrons
6. Fusion of two deuterium nuclei to form helium-3 and hydrogen-1 yields 1.53 3 10216 kcal of energy. A liter of seawater is estimated to contain 1.03 3 1022 atoms of deuterium. How many kilocalories can be liberated, if all the 1.03 3 1022 deuterium atoms in a liter of seawater undergo fusion?

8. Carbon-14 dating uses the carbon-14 half-life of 5730 years to estimate the age of carbon containing samples. How old is a wooden throne if the current carbon-14 activity is one-eighth of the original?

9. Balance the following nuclear equations, giving symbols, nuclear charges, and mass numbers:

(a) 64
29Cu →__________ + 1 0 e

(b) 69
30Zn →__________ + 31 69Ga

(c) 131 → ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬___________+ 6931Ga

10. Balance the following beta decay equations, giving symbols, nuclear charges, and mass numbers:
6C →__________ + 01e


82Pb __________ + 01e

11. (a) What is the half-life of plutonium-239?
(b) How does this add to the dangers of this isotope?

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Solution Summary

The solution discusses various questions regarding nuclear change and nuclear power.