Atomic Physics Module


  1. Define isotope.
  2. What is the relationship between the atomic mass number, the atomic number, and the number of neutrons in a nucleus.
  3. What does E=mc2 mean?
  4. How many protons and neutrons are in Plutonium 239?
  5. How much energy is released in the total conversion of 10g of mass into energy? How many megatons of TNT equivalent are released?
  6. What is an alpha particle? What is a beta particle?
  7. What is meant by the half-life of a radioactive substance?
  8. What is spontaneous fission? Why is it important?
  9. Iodine 131 is a prominent fallout particle. After undergoing beta decay what element does it become?
  10. When uranium 238 decays by alpha particle emission, what nucleus is formed?
  11. Plutonium is usually the radioactive material used in the primary of a hydrogen bomb. If we eliminated all of our existing nuclear weapons today, and then Stored the plutonium, how long would it take for this stockpile to decay to one-quarter of its original amount? To one-sixteenth? Is there anything we can do to speed up this process? (Pu 239 has a half-life of 24,400 years).
  12. Why is an antineutrino needed in beta decay?

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