If you like us, please share us on social media.
The latest UCD Hyperlibrary newsletter is now complete, check it out.

GeoWiki.png
ChemWiki: The Dynamic Chemistry E-textbook > Physical Chemistry > Nuclear Chemistry > Radioactivity > Artificially Induced Radioactivity

MindTouch
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 MindTouch Inc.
http://mindtouch.com

This file and accompanying files are licensed under the MindTouch Master Subscription Agreement (MSA).

At any time, you shall not, directly or indirectly: (i) sublicense, resell, rent, lease, distribute, market, commercialize or otherwise transfer rights or usage to: (a) the Software, (b) any modified version or derivative work of the Software created by you or for you, or (c) MindTouch Open Source (which includes all non-supported versions of MindTouch-developed software), for any purpose including timesharing or service bureau purposes; (ii) remove or alter any copyright, trademark or proprietary notice in the Software; (iii) transfer, use or export the Software in violation of any applicable laws or regulations of any government or governmental agency; (iv) use or run on any of your hardware, or have deployed for use, any production version of MindTouch Open Source; (v) use any of the Support Services, Error corrections, Updates or Upgrades, for the MindTouch Open Source software or for any Server for which Support Services are not then purchased as provided hereunder; or (vi) reverse engineer, decompile or modify any encrypted or encoded portion of the Software.

A complete copy of the MSA is available at http://www.mindtouch.com/msa

Artificially Induced Radioactivity

In a nutshell, radioactivity is described as the interaction with matter by heavier elements to produce ions. Although radioactivity is observed as a natural occurring process, it is a process that can also be artificially induced. Radioactivity is artificially induced through the bombarding atoms of a specific element by radiating particles, thus creating new atoms existing from another type of element.

Introduction

Ernest Rutherford was a prominent New Zealand scientist, and a winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908. Amongst his vast list of discoveries, Rutherford was also the first to discover artificially induced radioactivity. Through the bombardment of alpha particles against the nuclei of 14N (7 protons/electrons) Rutherford produced 17O (8 protons/electrons) and protonsThrough this observation, Rutherford concluded that atoms of one specific element can be made into atoms of another element through the this discovered process of artificially induced radioactivity

picture1.jpg

Rutherford was the first intellectual to create protons outside of the atomic nuclei, and 17O which was a nonradioactive isotope of oxygen.

Irene Joliet-Curie and Frederic Joliot

Irene Joliet-Curie and her husband Frédéric both were French scientists who shared winning the Nobel Prize award in chemistry in 1935 for artificially synthesizing a radioactive isotope of phosphorus by bombarding aluminum with alpha particles. 30P (15 protons/elections) was the first radioactive nuclide obtained through this method of artificially inducing radioactivity.

Picture 2.jpg

Artificially Induced Radioactivity Today

Before this discovery of artificial induction of radioactivity, it was a common belief that atoms of matter are unchangeable and indivisible. After the very first discoveries made by Ernest Rutherford, Irene Joliot-Curie and her husband, Frederic Joliot, a new point of view was developed. The point of view that although atoms appear to be stable, they can be transformed into new atoms with different chemical properties. Today over one thousand artificially created radioactive nuclides exist, which considerably outnumber the nonradioactive ones created.

Activation by neutron capture

Activation (or radioactivation) involves making a radioactive isotope by neutron capture, e.g. the addition of a neutron to a nuclide resulting in an increase in isotope number by 1 while retaining the same atomic number. Activation is often an inadvertent process occurring inside or near a nuclear reactor, where there are many neutrons flying around. For example, Cobalt-59 has a large neutron capture cross-section, making it likely that Co-59 in or near a nuclear reactor will capture a neutron forming the radioactive isotope Co-60. To avoid this inadvertent activation, the use of cobalt in or near reactors is minimized to the extent it is practical. Light water coolant in nuclear reactors inevitably contain traces of impurities which inadvertently become neutron-activated making the primary water coolant radioactive. In boiling water reactors (BWR), the radioactive water/steam contaminates the inside of the steam turbine with radioactivity. Maintenance in a BWR steam turbine requires radiological controls to avoid contamination of the maintenance personnel.  

 
Example 1: Neutron Bombardment

Write a nuclear equation for the creation of 56Mn through the bombardment of 59Co with neutrons.

SOLUTION

A unknown particle is produced with 56Mn, in order to find the mass number (A) of the unknown we must subtract the mass number of the Manganese atom from the mass number of the Cobalt atom plus the neutron being thrown. In simpler terms,

example1.jpg

Now, by referring to a periodic table to find the atomic numbers of Mn and Co, and then subtracting the atomic number of Mn from Co, we will receive the atomic number of the unknown particle

ex12.jpg

Thus, the unknown particle has A = 4, and Z = 2, which would make it a Helium particle, and the nuclear formula would be as follows:

ex13.jpg

Example 2: Calcium Bombardment

Write a nuclear equation for the production of \(^{147}Eu\) by bombardment of \(^{139}La\) with \(^{12}Ca\_.

SOLUTION

Like the above example, you must first find the mass number of the unknown particle.

ex21.jpg

Thus, the mass number of the unknown particle is 4. Again by referring to a periodic table and finding the atomic numbers of Lanthanum, Carbon and Europian, we are able to calculate the atomic number of the unknown particle,

ex22.jpg

The atomic number for the unknown particle equals to zero, therefore 4 neutrons are emitted, and the nuclear equation is written as follows:

Ex23.jpg

References

  1. Petrucci, Harwood, Herring, Madura. General Chemistry:Principles & Modern Applications (9th Edition). New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2007
  2. Savel, Pierre. "Atomic Energy." The Discovery of Artificial Radioactivity Vol.16 No.6 (1964), pp. 534-537

You must to post a comment.
Last Modified
09:24, 28 Jan 2014

Tags

This page has no custom tags.

Classifications

Vet1
Fundamental

Creative Commons License Unless otherwise noted, content in the UC Davis ChemWiki is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at copyright@ucdavis.edu. Questions and concerns can be directed toward Prof. Delmar Larsen (dlarsen@ucdavis.edu), Founder and Director. Terms of Use