7.3 Nuclear Reactions. A nucleus is more than just mass. Objectives. Define the unified mass unit; State the meaning of the terms mass defect and binding energy and solve related problems; Write nuclear reaction equations and balance the atomic and mass numbers;
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A nucleus is more than just mass
1 u x c2 = 1.6605402 x 10-27 x (2.9979 x 108)2 J
= 1.4923946316 x 10-10 J
= 931.5 MeV
We see that the mass of radium exceeds that of radon + helium by 0.0052 u. Thus, there is kinetic energy released equal to 0.0052 x 931.5 MeV = 4.84 MeV
Mass of radium = 226.0254 u
Mass of radon = 222.0176 u
+ Mass of helium = 4.0026 u
sum = 226.0202 u
If 50 g of radium were to decay in this way, the total energy released in this way would be N x 4.84 MeV where N is the total number of nuclei in the 50 g of radium. (1.3 x 1023).
The momenta of Rn and He are in opposite directions with equal magnitudes (momentum conservation). Vhelium ≈ 55 Vradon
Serious unsolved problems with prolonged confinement of plasmas – not a viable source of commercial energy any time soon