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9Sci CH24

9th Science CH24 Radioactivity and Nuclear Reactions

TermDefinition
alpha particle a particle of nuclear radiation emitted from a decaying atomic nucleus; has a charge of 2+, an atomic mass of 4, and is the largest, slowest, and least penetrating form of radiation
beta particle a negatively charged electron or positively charged positron emitted from a decaying atomic nucleus; beta particles are faster moving and more penetrating than alpha particles
bubble chamber device filled with super-heated liquid; used to detect and monitor the path of charged nuclear particles, which leave a trail of bubbles as they pass through the chamber
chain reaction a continuing series of fission reactions in which neutrons from fissioning nuclei cause other nuclei to split, releasing more neutrons, which split more nuclei, and so on
cloud chamber device filled with water- or ethanol- saturated air; used to detect charged nuclear particles which leave a trail as they pass through
gamma ray high-frequency electromagnetic waves that travel at the speed of light, have no mass or charge, and are the most penetrating form of radiation
half-life the amount of time required for one-half of the nuclides in a sample of radioactive isotope to decay
nuclear fission process in which an atom’s nucleus is split into two nuclei with smaller masses
nuclear fusion process in which two atomic nuclei with low masses are fused into a single nucleus of larger mass; also known as a thermonuclear reaction
nuclide the nucleus of a specific isotope having a certain specific atomic number and atomic mass
PET Positron-Emission Tomography; PET scans are used in medicine to reveal brain function and certain brain disorders such as tumors
radioactivity the emission of high-energy radiation or particles from the nucleus of a radioactive atom
tracer a radioisotope used in medical diagnosis to allow doctors to monitor human body functions, locate tumors, detect fluid movement, and so on
transmutation changing one element to another through radioactive decay