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Updated October 15, 2020

Nuclear Chemistry Research : Definition of an Isotope

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Nuclear Chemistry Research : Definition of an Isotope essay
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An isotope is a different form of an element with the same number of protons, but differing numbers of neutrons and therefore different atomic massed.Two reasons for nuclear instability.Nuclear instability occurs because of unbalanced forces in the nucleus. The forces are unbalanced when:There is an excess of neutrons in nucleusThere is an excess of protons in nucleusDescribes radionuclides based on nuclear structure plus valid exampleNuclear reactor: radionuclides produced in nuclear reactors are neutron rich (have excess amounts of neutrons). When they decay they usually release β− particle emissions. Iodine-131 (131I) is an example of a nuclear reactor produced radionuclide through fission in the reactor. Its nucleus contains 53 protons and 78 neutrons and has a very short half-life of 8.02 days.Cyclotron: cyclotrons produce radionuclides that are generally neutron deficient.

They mainly decay by releasing β+ particles or through electron capture. Cobalt-57 (57Co) is an example of a cyclotron produced radionuclide. Its nucleus contains 27 protons and 30 neutrons and has a half-life of approximately 270.9 days.Explains operation of one type of radiation detector in terms of receiving radiation and reporting to the user. Include diagrams. One type of radiation detectors includes the Geiger-Muller tube which uses the ionising effect of radiation to detect it. As can be seen in the following diagram, a GM tube is basically a hollow cylinder with a thin window (made from mica). It is filled with a gas at low pressure and as the image shows, the casing of the tube and the central electrode inside the GM tube, are connected to a high voltage supply.

Alpha, beta and gamma radiation inside the tube, produce ions in the gas. These ions enable the tube to conduct electricity and a current is then produced for a short time in time. A voltage pulse is created by the current with each voltage pulse resembling one ionising radiation entering the tube. This voltage pulse is then amplified and counted.The greater the number of counts, the more ionisation in the tube which means the greater the level of radiation. The count rate is measured in Becquerels (Bq).37107043941400a) names isotope used in industrySodium-24b) use based on radiation emissionSodium-24 is used widely in industry to detect oil leaks in pipelines. Sodium-24 emits low intensity gamma and beta radiation which means that the radiation will not be detected unless there is a leak in the pipes because the radiation is not able to penetrate the thick walls of the pipes. c) uses chemical properties to explain use of isotopeSodium-24 is used in the detection of oil leaks in pipelines due to its low intensity radiation emission. Unless there is a leak in the pipe, sodium-24 will not be detected because it cannot pass through the walls of the pipes due to its low intensity gamma and beta radiation emissions.

Sodium-24 also has a half life of roughly 15hrs meaning that the concentration of the of the sodium-24 will not stay high for too long but long enough to detect the leak. d) explains production with reference to enrichment methodSodium-24 is artificially produced isotope. It is created using the neutron absorption method. Stable isotope Sodium-23 is placed into a nuclear reactor and blasted with neutrons. This happens until it absorbs one into the nucleus and an unstable isotope, Sodium-24, is created.a) names isotope used in medicineTechnetium-99mb) use based on radiation emissionTechnetium-99m is used in medicine to image heart muscles and the skeleton but also the brain, thyroid, liver, lungs etc. Technetium-99m is given to a patient and the gamma rays emitted are displayed on a moving gamma camera which processes the image.c) use chemical properties to explain use of isotopeTechnetium-99m has ideal chemical properties to be used for medical scanning. It has a half-life of 6 hours. This is long enough to analyse metabolic processes but short enough to reduce the amount of radiation a patient absorbs. Technetium-99m also emits only low energy gamma radiation which is enough to be detected in a patient by a gamma ray sensitive camera but still cause minimal damage to the tissue in the body.

Although technetium-99m is fairly reactive, it can react to form certain compounds with properties that allows it concentrate in the organ of interest. Explains production with reference to enrichment methodTechnetium-99m is produced by firstly blasting Molybdenum (98Mo) with neutrons producing Molybdenum-99. Secondly, Molybdenum-99 undergoes a beta decay (with ½ life of 66 hours) to create Technetium 99m.a) writes reaction with proper notation142443816637000production:decay/half-life:b) writes with proper notation14242311323750production:14230351803400provides analysis of benefits and problems of a named radioisotope in industry or medicine.

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