What is Nuclear Chemistry




What is Nuclear ChemistryThe analysis of the trans-actinide and actinides components has involved the joint efforts of inorganic and nuclear chemists in increasing understanding of the periodic table. Nuclear chemistry is focused on the changes occurring in the nucleus of the atom.

The emission of radiations through a radioactive material originates from the fact that a radioactive isotope is unstable and it changes to a stable isotope by giving out radiations such as Gamma -rays and a, positron and so on.

1. A nuclear reaction is various from a chemical reaction.

2. In a chemical reaction, atoms of the reactants mix by a rearrangement of additional nuclear electrons however the nuclei of the atoms stay unchanged.

3. In a nuclear reaction, however, it is the nucleus of the atom that is involved.

4. The number of neutrons or protons in the nucleus changes to make a new element itself

History of Nuclear Chemistry

The history of Nuclear chemistry dates back to 1895, with the finding of X- rays by William Roentgen. At the begining of 1896, Henri Becquerel was performing a series of tests on fluorescence. He had employed photographic film among two pieces of paper.

When he produced the photographic film, he discovered that it had the identical appearance as if it had been exposed to light. And following this, by accident, he created the photographic plates, which was stored in the same drawer as Uranium. To his surprise, the plate was blackened. He believed that it was a new kind of fluorescence. But, actually, he had encounter a phenomenon of radioactivity. So, radioactivity, accidentally, was found by Henri Becquerel.

The name radioactivity, was coined a while later by Marie Curie. She received the Nobel prize for her discovery in 1903 with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel. Thereby evolved the department of chemistry referred to as Nuclear chemistry.

Nuclear Symbol Chemistry

You can find different types of radiations associated with Nuclear chemistry. They possess their own representations. Let us look into these radiations and their symbols.

Types of radiations and nuclear symbols:

The radioactive radiations are of 3 types. They were sorted out by Rutherford in 1902, by moving them between two oppositely charged plates. The ones bending towards negative plate carried positive charge and were known as as alpha rays. Those bending towards the positive plate and carrying negative charge were referred to as beta rays. The third type of radiation, being uncharged, passed straight via the electric field and were called gamma rays.

1. Alpha rays

Symbolized as a. These are positively charged rays. Because the alpha rays possess a mass of 4 amu and charge _2, they are in fact helium nuclei. So, they are also symbolized as

4 2He or 4 2α

2. Beta Rays

Negatively charged rays. They are symbolized as: . Since they have a mass much like electron, they are also represented as e-. They have a unit negative charge.

0-1e or 0-1 β 

3. Gamma rays

These rays are neutral, without charge. They are merely represented by the symbol: γ





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