Section 3 review
Nuclei exist because protons and neutrons have lower energy when bound together. The binding energy is stored in the nucleus and can be released if the nucleus changes, such as through a nuclear reaction. Nuclear reactions can be represented by nuclear reaction equations. Nuclear reactions may split nuclei (fission) or combine nuclei (fusion). Both types of reactions can release energy. Commercial nuclear reactors generate energy by nuclear fission whereas the Sun generates energy with nuclear fusion reactions. Read the text aloud
nuclear reaction, fission, chain reaction, fusion

n 0 1 + N 7 14 Reactants C 6 14 + p 1 1 Products

Review problems and questions

  1. How is mass–energy equivalence related to nuclear fission and fusion? Read the text aloud Show
  1. Distinguish between atomic physics and nuclear physics. Read the text aloud Show
  1. Distinguish between chemical reactions and nuclear reactions. Read the text aloud Show
  1. Balance the following reaction equation by providing the missing product: H 1 2 + H 2 3 e X Z A + H 1 1 Read the text aloud Show
  1. For the reaction  X Z A N 10 22 e+ e 1 0 what is the unknown X Z A ?
    1. N 10 21 e
    2. N 11 22 a
    3. N 10 23 e
    4. M 12 23 g Read the text aloud Show
  1. Determine the name of the unknown element, the atomic number Z, and the atomic mass number A in this nuclear reaction equation:
    n 0 1 + U 92 235 B 56 141 a+ ? Z A +3 n 0 1
    Read the text aloud Show
  1. In this nuclear reaction equation:
    n 0 1 + U 92 235 ? Z A + B 35 87 r+3 n 0 1
    determine the atomic mass number A, atomic number Z, and the name of the unknown element. Read the text aloud Show
  1. Smoke detectors contain radioactive isotope americium-235 and emit alpha particles, yet manufacturers claim that the products are safe. Evaluate the validity of this claim by researching natural exposure levels, medically-recommended limits, or exposure from medical imaging. Show

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