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Chapter 26 Vocabulary: Nuclear Chemistry

alpha particle positively charged particle emitted from certain radioactive nuclei; it consists of two protons and two neutrons and is identical to the nucleus of a helium atom.
alpha radiation alpha particles emitted from a radioactive source.
beta particles a fast-moving electron emitted from certain radioactive nuclei; it is formed when a neutron decomposes.
beta radiation fast-moving electrons (beta particles) emitted from a radioactive source.
fission the splitting of a nucleus into smaller fragments, accompanied by the release of neutrons and a large amount of energy.
fusion a reaction in which two light nuclei combine to produce a nucleus of heavier mass, accompanied by the release of a large amount of energy.
gamma radiation high energy electromagnetic radiation emitted by certain radioactive nuclei; gamma rays have no mass or electrical charge.
Geiger counter a gas-filled metal tube used to detect the presence of beta radiation.
half-life the time required for one-half of the atoms of a radioisotope to emit radiation and decay to products.
ionizing radiation radiation which has enough energy to produce ions by knocking electrons off some of the atoms it strikes.
radiation the penetrating rays emitted by a radioactive source; also, the giving off of energy in various forms such as heat, light, or radiowaves.
radioactive decay the process in which an unstable nucleus loses energy by emitting energy.
radioactivity the property by which an atomic nucleus gives off alpha, beta, or gamma radiation.
radioisotopes isotopes the have unstable nuclei and undergo radioactive decay.
transmutation the conversion of an atom of one element into an atom of another element by the emission of radiation.
transuranium element an element in the periodic table whose atomic number is above 92.
gamma rays photons which are high-energy (short wavelength) electromagnetic radiation.
positron a particle with the same mass as an electron but opposite charge.
positron emission a radioactive decay process that involves the emission of a positron from a nucleus.
Created by: KellyBeck

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