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IGHS Winkels

Physical Science Chapter 9

TermDefinition
Radioactivity the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus emits charged particles and energy
Radioisotope any atom containing an unstable nucleus
Nuclear radiation charged particles and energy that are emitted from the nuclei of radioisotopes
Alpha particle a positively charged particle made up of two protons and two neutrons-the same as a helium nucleus
Beta particle an electron emitted by an unstable nucleus
Gamma ray a penetrating ray of energy emitted by an unstable nucleus
Background radiation or nuclear radiation that occurs naturally in the environment
Half-life the time required for one half of a sample of a radioisotope to decay
Transmutation the conversion of atoms of one element to atoms of another
Transuranium elements elements with atomic numbers greater than 92(uranium)
Quark a subatomic particle theorized to be among the basic units of matter
Strong nuclear force the attractive force that binds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus
Fission the splitting of an atomic nucleus into two smaller parts
Chain reaction neutrons released during the splitting of an initial nucleus trigger a series of nuclear fissions
Critical mass the smallest possible mass of a fissionable material that can sustain a chain reaction
Fusion a process in which the nuclei of two atoms combine to form a larger nucleus
Plasma a state of matter in which atoms have been stripped of their electrons
Created by: Winkels