• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


Chemistry Open Book 1. Alpha decay is when the atomic nucleus emits an alpha particle at high kinetic energy .The alpha particle is created when two proton and two neutrons are bound together. When the strong force that binds those together breaks, this transforms (or decays) into an atom with a mass number 4 less and atomic number 2 less to create helium. 'Alpha decay is common among heavier elements with atomic numbers greater than 83. Alpha decay reduces the mass of these heavy nuclei'. [1] For example: However During beta decay the atoms nucleus turns into a proton and electron .The electron released is known as a beta particle. Since the atom gains a proton it changes elements. When conservation of mass is considered, there is always a loss of energy The missing energy is due to the emission of an elementary particle called neutrino. [2] Nuclear fission is when a heavy atomic nucleus is bombarded with a neutron to give two elements of similar mass for example when ...read more.


3. Nuclear fission is splitting an unstable heavy atom in to two lighter nuclei which are roughly equal in size, this process releases vast quantities of energy and with neutrons can cause further fusion in other nuclei, leading to a chain reaction. Nuclear fusion is combining smaller nuclei to form heavier nuclei e.g. hydrogen nuclei's to create a helium nuclei, this process also releases lots of energy and only happens in the sun as it has the right temperature to fuse the nuclei's together. Energy released in nuclear fission can be harnessed to generate electricity but if all the energy is released at once it can cause an atomic bomb and that's why we have nuclear power plant to control the reaction. Inside nuclear reactor uranium atoms are splitting apart in a controlled chain reaction. To keep splitting regulated control rods are used so the reaction doesn't go to quick control rods absorb the neutrons and depending on were you put the [200] control rod you can decrease the rate of reaction just enough so that the reaction occurs. ...read more.


However it also has its flaws fission produces radioactivity which can make people ill and in most cases kill them, another disadvantage is that the nuclear reactor can go out of control creating a meltdown which releases incredible amount of radioactivity devastating people all around. Nuclear reactors are also short lived and can live for 40-50 years. Advantages for using fusion are that the reactants, deuterium and tritium, are readily available in nature.They are more environmentally friendly than fossil feuls and fission. fusion is much safer to use than fission. 4. Although nuclear fusion is a safe source of power, scientists have yet to figure out ways to match the conditions that the sun has on earth. Doing so would supply the earth with millions of years of energy. 'The ITER is being built at Cadarache in the south of France and should be ready for operation in 2015.'[5] http://www.solcomhouse.com/nuclear.htm http://www.thetartan.org/2007/4/30/scitech/work/ 1. Nuclear reactions, SAC Chemical ideas - second addition George Burton et al, Heinemann, 2000, page 15, ISBN: 9780435631208. 2. http://library.thinkquest.org/27954/alpha.htm Alpha and beta decay reaction, website is owned by think quest.com 3. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Physical Chemistry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Physical Chemistry essays

  1. The open-book paper on nuclear fission and fusion reactions.

    Hydrogen and helium are the most abundant elements. All other elements are synthesized by fusion during the life and death of stars. Heavier chemical elements like lithium are made from these simple elements in a variety of processes collectively called nucleogenesis.

  2. Investigating how concentration affects rate of reaction

    Graph 1 shows this relationship in my investigation - as the concentration of potassium bromate(V) is decreased, the amount of time taken for the solution to turn colourless, and thus the reaction to finish, increases. This is a strong negative correlation.

  1. Open-Book Paper: Radioactive Decay, Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion

    This happens by the weak interaction, like �-decay:9 Smaller amounts of lithium can also be produced in the fission of some nuclei by cosmic rays and in supernovae, when heavy stars become unstable and explode.10 Producing Energy through Nuclear Fission and Fusion In nuclear fission, an unstable nucleus absorbs a

  2. Investigating the Rate of the Reaction between Bromide and Bromate Ions in Acid Solution

    find out if any of the solutions I tested catalyse the reaction. I will draw up a table showing the average time (t) and for each transition metal ion: Catalyst Average Time (t) / s / s-1 None Copper (II) Cobalt (II) Nickel (II) Iron (III) Manganese (II) (Table 2.7.3)

  1. Chemistry (Salters) Open Book 2008

    The mass that appears to be lost has been turned into energy. E (energy) = mc2 where m = mass and c = the velocity of light. The advantages of using fission and fusion reactions to generate electricity are that they do not produce greenhouse gasses, as in the current methods of energy production which involve burning fossil fuels.

  2. Chemistry open book paper - Nuclear Fission and Fusion

    The production of small amounts of hydrogen and helium nuclei makes it possible for the star to synthesise most of the elements in the first three periods of the Periodic table. Two routes for the generation of lithium are: Route 1: 4He + 3H � 7Li Route 2: 4He +

  1. Fission and Fusion

    and dense that it causes hydrogen atoms to fuse with each other forming helium. A large quantity of energy is required to do this and it also releases lots of energy. It's known as nuclear fusion. 41H 4He The stars use up most of their hydrogen and then start nuclear fusion with helium.

  2. Determining the Relative Atomic Mass of Lithium

    � HCl � Goggles � Measuring Cylinder(250cm3) Risk assesment � Lithium is a flammable solid, it reacts violently with water to give flammable hydrogen gas. Lithium is corrosive to eyes (may cause bindness), skin, nose, throat and stomach.(if it gets onto the skin or eyes then immediately flush with water)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work