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Uses of Nuclear Chemistry (and half life post lab). Half Life. Def: Time it takes for the amount of a radioactive substance to decay by half. Example Problem.

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half life
Half Life
  • Def:
    • Time it takes for the amount of a radioactive substance to decay by half
example problem
Example Problem
  • The half-life of isotope X is 2.0 years. How many years would it take for a 4.0 mg sample of X to decay and have only 0.50 mg of it remain?
one more example
One More Example….
  • The half-life of Po-218 is three minutes. How much of a 2.0 gram sample remains after 15 minutes?
back to the nuclear
Back to the NUCLEAR!
  • A common misconception is that the products of nuclear chemistry is all bad.
  • There are many practical uses for nuclear chemistry!
uses of nuclear chemistry around your home
Uses of Nuclear Chemistry Around Your Home
  • Smoke Detectors:
    • Contain a small amount of americium-241
  • Power
    • Nuclear power accounts for 11% of the world’s energy needs
agricultural applications
Agricultural Applications
  • Radioactive Tracers
    • Are used to help scientists understand the chemical and biological processes in plants.
    • Ex: Phosphorus-32 is injected into a plant (looks identical to phosphorus-31)
    • Scientists can then use a Geiger counter to detect the movement of phsoporus-32 in the plant
    • Radioactive Tracers Commercial
food irradiation
Food Irradiation
  • Method of treating food in order to make it safer to eat and have a longer shelf life.
  • Done by exposing food to the gamma rays of a radioactive isotope. Cobalt-60 is commonly used.
  • The energy from the gamma ray passing through the food is enough to destroy many disease-causing bacteria or those causing the food to spoil.
food irradiation1
Food Irradiation
  • Can slow down the ripening of food, so foods won’t ripen before they reach the store
  • Used widely in Europe, Mexico and Canada, however the US has been hesitant to adopt
  • It does this without affecting the quality of the food!
archaeological dating
Archaeological Dating
  • Carbon-14 dating
  • All organisms contain a given concentration of carbon-14.
  • When an organism dies, it has a specific ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 by mass in the cell’s of its body.
archaeological dating1
Archaeological Dating
  • At the moment of death, no new carbon-14 is metabolized.
  • Carbon-14 is decayed at a constant, predictable pace
nuclear medicine
Nuclear Medicine
  • Branch of medicine that uses radiation to provide information about the functioning of a person’s specific organs or treat disease.
diagnostic techniques
Diagnostic Techniques
  • Radioactive Tracers
    • Emit gamma rays in the body
  • Can be given by injection, inhalation or orally
radionuclide therapy rnt
Radionuclide Therapy (RNT)
  • Rapidly dividing cells are especially sensitive to damage by radiation
  • This is why cancerous growths can be controlled or eliminated by irradiating the area containing the growth.
  • Can be taken in multiple ways- mouth, injection, placed into the eye or bladder
  • Used in small amounts for diagnostic purposes
  • Used in larger amounts to treat diseases like cancer
nuclear fission and fusion
Nuclear Fission and Fusion
  • Nuclear Fission
    • Nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of the atom splits into smaller parts
  • Nuclear Fusion
    • Process where 2 or more nuclei join (fuse) together