Topic 15, Nuclear Chemistry
Topic 15, Nuclear Chemistry
(Key concepts)

Tables N & O

Image result for nys chemistry reference table n

Image result for nys chemistry reference table o

Natural Radioactivity:
*Elements 84 and above are all radioisotopes (unstable)
*Elements 83 and less, some stable (not radioactive) others unstable (radioactive)
*Elements unstable/radioactive when proton:neutron ratio not close to 1:1
*C-14 is radioactive, C-12 is not radioactive

*Example of alpha decay:

*Example of beta decay:

*Example of gamma decay:

Example of positron decay:

Artificial Radioactivity



Benefits & Risks
of Radioactivity:
*C-14 is used to date once living things
*U-238 is used to date rocks and other geological formation
*C-14 used to trace carbon through photosynthesis
*P-31 used to trace phosphorus through plants
*Use gamma rays to measure thickness of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, welds
*Use Co-60 and Cs-137 to irradiate foods
*Use Cs-137 to destroy anthrax
*Use nuclear reactors to produce energy
*I-131 is used to diagnose & treat thyroid disorders (I is absorbed by the thyroid gland)
*Co-60 is used to treat cancer
*Tc-99 is used to diagnose cancer tumors
*Radiation can damage healthy tissue
*Radiation can cause mutations
*Nuclear power plants produce highly radioactive nuclear wastes
*Disposal risks associated with nuclear wastes
*Nuclear accidents