# uses of nuclear chemistry

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Uses of Nuclear Chemistry. Calculating Half Life Harnessing Nuclear Energy. N t N 0. ln 2 k. = -kt. = t 1/2. ln. Kinetics of Radioactive Decay. Nuclear transmutation is a first-order process. The kinetics of such a process, you will recall, obey this equation:. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Uses of Nuclear Chemistry

Uses of Nuclear ChemistryCalculating Half LifeHarnessing Nuclear Energy

Kinetics of Radioactive DecayNuclear transmutation is a first-order process.The kinetics of such a process, you will recall, obey this equation:= -kt NtN0ln= t1/2 ln 2k

2Kinetics of Radioactive DecayComparing the amount of a radioactive nuclide present at a given point in time with the amount normally present, one can find the age of an object.

3Measuring RadioactivityOne can use a device like this Geiger counter to measure the amount of activity present in a radioactive sample.The ionizing radiation creates ions, which conduct a current that is detected by the instrument.

4Kinetics of Radioactive DecayA wooden object from an archeological site is subjected to radiocarbon dating. The activity of the sample that is due to 14C is measured to be 11.6 (Nt) disintegrations per second. The activity of a carbon sample of equal mass from fresh wood is 15.2 (N0) disintegrations per second. The half-life of 14C is 5715 yr. What is the age of the archeological sample?5Kinetics of Radioactive DecayFirst we need to determine the rate constant (k) for the process.= t1/2 ln 2k= 5715 yr 0.693k= k 0.6935715 yr= k 1.21 104 yr16Kinetics of Radioactive DecayNext, determine t:= -kt NtN0ln= -(1.21 104 yr1) t 11.615.2ln= -(1.21 104 yr1) t ln 0.763= t 6310 yr7Energy in Nuclear ReactionsThere is a tremendous amount of energy stored in nuclei.Einsteins famous equation, E = mc2, relates directly to the calculation of this energy.

8Energy in Nuclear ReactionsIn the types of chemical reactions we have encountered previously, the amount of mass converted to energy has been minimal.However, these energies are many thousands of times greater in nuclear reactions.

9Energy in Nuclear ReactionsFor example, the mass change for the decay of 1 mol of uranium-238 is 0.0046 g.The change in energy, E, is thenE = (m) c2E = (4.6 106 kg)(3.00 108 m/s)2E = 4.1 1011 J10

Nuclear FissionHow does one tap all that energy?Nuclear fission is the type of reaction carried out in nuclear reactors.11Nuclear FissionBombardment of the radioactive nuclide with a neutron starts the process.Neutrons released in the transmutation strike other nuclei, causing their decay and the production of more neutrons. CHAIN REACTION!

12Nuclear FissionThis process continues in what we call a nuclear chain reaction.

13Nuclear FissionIf there are not enough radioactive nuclides in the path of the ejected neutrons, the chain reaction will die out.

14Nuclear FissionTherefore, there must be a certain minimum amount of fissionable material present for the chain reaction to be sustained: critical mass.

15Nuclear ReactorsIn nuclear reactors the heat generated by the reaction is used to produce steam that turns a turbine connected to a generator.

16Nuclear ReactorsThe reaction is kept in check by the use of control rods.Control rods act like giant neutron sponges, help to control the rate of reaction.

These block the paths of some neutrons, keeping the system from reaching a dangerous supercritical mass.

17Nuclear FusionFusion would be a superior method of generating power.The good news is that the products of the reaction are not radioactive.The bad news is that in order to achieve fusion, the material must be in the plasma state at several million kelvins.Likely impossible on Earth.

18Nuclear FusionTokamak apparati like the one shown at the right show promise for carrying out these reactions.They use magnetic fields to heat the material, instead of thermal energy.

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