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9MA3NuclearReactions

TermDefinition
radiation energy or particles emitted by an unstable nucleus as it decays into a new and stable element
radioactivity when a nucleus is unstable due to the imbalance of neutrons and protons and tries to become stable by decay
nuclear decay process of becoming a stable nucleus and emitting radiation (as energy or particles) *very similar to the idea of radiation
alpha particle/decay nuclear decay when a helium nucleus is emitted; atomic # decreases by 2, mass # decreases by 4
beta particle/decay nuclear decay when an electron is emitted (through the division of a neutron in the nucleus); increases atomic # by one and mass # stays the same
gamma ray/decay nuclear decay when just a LOT of energy is emitted; no change in atomic # or mass #- element stays the same
half-life amount of time it takes half of a radioactive substance to decay and change into something else
fission nuclear reaction of dividing a large nucleus; nuclear power plants use fission to generate electricity
fusion nuclear reaction of joining 2 small nuclei (2 hyrogens into a helium nucleus); occurs on the SUN
chain reaction during fission when neutrons are emitted from a split nucleus and smashes into another nucleus (and so on...) to continue fission
critical mass during a chain reaction, when enough atoms are present to keep the process going.
Created by: jparsons