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Chemistry LibreTexts

10: Nuclear Energy

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    • 10.1: Prelude to Nuclear Chemistry
      Many people think of nuclear chemistry in connection with the nuclear power industry and atomic bombs but do not realize that most smoke detectors rely on nuclear chemistry and save countless lives every year. The applications of nuclear chemistry may be more widespread than you think.
    • 10.2: Radioactivity
      The major types of radioactivity include alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. Fission is a type of radioactivity in which large nuclei spontaneously break apart into smaller nuclei.
    • 10.3: Uses of Radioactive Isotopes
      Radioactivity has several practical applications, including tracers, medical applications, dating once-living objects, and preservation of food.
    • 10.4: Nuclear Energy
      Nuclear energy comes from tiny mass changes in nuclei as radioactive processes occur. In fission, large nuclei break apart and release energy; in fusion, small nuclei merge together and release energy.

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