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Chemistry LibreTexts

Nuclear II (Worksheet)

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Work in groups on these problems. You should try to answer the questions without referring to your textbook. If you get stuck, try asking another group for help.

Identify the following as Alpha, beta, gamma or neutron:

1. \(\ce{^1_0 n}\)

2. \(\ce{^0_{-1} e}\)

3. \(\ce{^4_2 He}\)

4. \(\ce{^0_0 \gamma}\)

5. Nuclear decay with no mass nor charge:

6. An electron

7. Least penetrating nuclear decay

8. Most damaging nuclear decay to the human body

9. Nuclear decay that can be stopped by skin paper

10. Nuclear decay that can be stopped by aluminum

11. How many protons, neutrons, and electrons are in \(\ce{^{195}Pt^{+2}}\)?

12. \(\ce{^{62}Cr}\) decays via beta emission. Which statement is correct concerning \(\ce{^{62}Cr}\)?

  1. The number of electrons decrease.
  2. The number of protons decrease.
  3. The number of protons increase.
  4. The number of neutrons decrease.
  5. The number of protons increase and the number of neutrons decrease.

13. Complete the following nuclear equations (the question marks)

13a. \(\ce{^{42}_{19}K \rightarrow ^{0}_{-1}e^- + ?}\)

13b. \(\ce{^{239}_{94}Pu \rightarrow ^{4}_{2}He^{2-} + ?}\)

13c. \(\ce{^{9}_{4}Be \rightarrow ^{9}_{4}Be + ?}\)

13d. \(\ce{^{235}_{92}U \rightarrow ? + ^{231}_{90}Th}\)

13e. \(\ce{^{6}_{3}Li \rightarrow ^{4}_{2}He^{2-} + ?}\)

13f. \(\ce{? \rightarrow ^{142}_{56}Ba + ^{91}_{36}Kr + 3\; ^{1}_{0}n}\)

Write equations for the following nuclear decay reactions. Make sure that both mass numbers and atomic numbers are balanced on each side

14. Decay of polonium-218 by alpha emission.

15. Decay of carbon-14 by beta \(\beta^-\) emission.

16. The alpha decay of radon-198

17. The beta \(\beta^-\)  decay of uranium-237

18. The figure below maps the radioactive decay of \(\ce{^{238}U}\) into \(\ce{^{206}Pb}\). Use this figure to answer the following three questions:

  • 18a. How many alpha particles are produced as one atom of \(\ce{^{238}U}\) decays to one atom of \(\ce{^{206}Pb}\)? Draw the decay pathway you used for this calculation? Does it change if you picked a different pathway?
  • 18b. How many beta particles are produced as one atom of \(\ce{^{238}U}\) decays to one atom of \(\ce{^{206}Pb}\)? Draw the decay pathway you used for this calculation? Does it change if you picked a different pathway?
  • 18c. What is the final prodcut in the decay series of \(\ce{^{238}U}\)?

19. Write the nuclear equation showing that when \(\ce{^{229}Pm}\) goes through two consecutive alpha decays to form \(\ce{^{221}Fr}\).

20. Write the nuclear equation showing that when \(\ce{^{210}Po}\) goes through two consecutive alpha decays and then a beta decay and then another alpha decay.

21. Throium-232 undergoes radioactive decay until a stable isotope is reached. Write the nuclear reaction for each of the 11 steps in the decay of \(\ce{^{238}Th}\) with each product becoming the reactant of the next decay. What is the final stable isotope?

  • Step 1: Alpha decay
  • Step 2: Beta decay
  • Step 3: Beta decay
  • Step 4: Alpha decay
  • Step 5: Alpha decay
  • Step 6: Alpha decay
  • Step 7: Alpha decay
  • Step 8: Beta decay
  • Step 9: Beta decay
  • Step 10: Alpha decay
  • Step 11: Beta decay