Test your knowledge of nuclear instability
What school or college do you attend?
Element type is determined by which of the following?
Number of protons
Number of neutrons
Number of electrons
Which of the following describes beta (minus) decay?
A proton in the nucleus is converted to a neutron, emitting a positron and neutrino
A neutron in the nucleus is converted to a proton, emitting an electron and antineutrino
A helium nucleus is emitted from a heavier unstable nucleus
The picture shows a plot of graph of N against Z, with the green region indicating the stable nuclides. It doesn't follow the N=Z line, why do you think that is?
The strong nuclear force acts between protons and neutrons equally but the Coulomb force only acts between the protons
The Coulomb force acts between the neutrons more than the protons
The strong nuclear force only acts between the protons.
In alpha decay, how many protons and how many neutrons are removed from the decaying nucleus?
Four protons and two neutrons
Four neutrons and two protons
Two protons and two neutrons
Alpha decays can be used as a fingerprint to identify decays, why is this?
The energy and velocity of the alpha particle is characteristic of the decay
The mass of the alpha particle is characteristic of the decay
The mass and velocity of the alpha particle is characteristic of the decay
A sequence of unstable atomic nuclei and their modes of decays, which lead to a stable nucleus, is known as what?
A decay chain
A radiation chain
An element chain
Which of these describes how the number of radioactive nuclei in a sample decay as a function of time?
When measuring the activity of a radioactive sample it is important to observe many decays in the experiment, why is this?
It is not possible to predict exactly when an unstable nucleus will decay, so the experiment relies on observing many decays to reduce uncertainties
So the activity is large enough to measure
The nucleus might not decay correctly each time
An experiment is being undertaken to study “proton-rich” nuclei that have an imbalance in the ratio of protons and neutrons. Which of the following decay types do you think is most likely to be observed to rectify the imbalance in the nucleons ratio?
Beta positive decay
Beta negative decay
The half-life of an unknown nuclear sample is 5 years. If there are 200grams initially in the sample, how much will be left after 15 years?
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