Copyright

Ch 22: Atomic Nucleus for the MCAT: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The atomic nucleus chapter of this MCAT Help and Review course is the simplest way to master the nuclear structure of radioisotopes. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of the atomic nucleus.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering MCAT material will benefit from taking this course. You will be able to grasp the subject matter faster, retain critical knowledge longer and earn higher scores. You're in the right place if you:

  • Have fallen behind in understanding the nature of nuclear reactions or the steps used to calculate radioactive decay
  • Need an efficient way to learn about the atomic nucleus
  • Learn best with engaging auditory and visual tools
  • Struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Experience difficulty understanding your teachers
  • Missed class time and need to catch up
  • Can't access extra MCAT review resources at school

How it works:

  • Start at the beginning, or identify the topics that you need help with.
  • Watch and learn from fun videos, reviewing as needed.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Submit questions to one of our instructors for personalized support if you need extra help.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the Atomic Nucleus for the MCAT chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Atomic Nucleus for the MCAT chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any atomic nucleus question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

In this chapter, you'll learn the answer to questions including:

  • What are some radiometric dating methods?
  • What is the significance of half life?
  • What are some types of radioactive decay?
  • What is the general nature of fission and fusion?
  • How can units of mass be converted into units of energy?
  • What is mass defect?
  • What is nuclear binding energy?

16 Lessons in Chapter 22: Atomic Nucleus for the MCAT: Help and Review
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Atomic Nucleus: Definition, Structure & Size

1. Atomic Nucleus: Definition, Structure & Size

Even particles like atoms have structure, the center being the atomic nucleus composed of protons and neutrons. Learn the history behind the discovery of atoms including elements' atomic number, mass, and nuclear force.

The Electron Shell

2. The Electron Shell

An outer shell, known as the electron shell, surrounds the nucleus of an atom. Take an in-depth look at the structure of an atom and its electron shell, and the different energy levels in the atomic structure.

Protons: Definition, Charge & Mass

3. Protons: Definition, Charge & Mass

Every atom has protons that are made of quarks and located in the nucleus. Find out the definition and charge of protons, the definition of a quark, and the mass of a proton.

Neutrons: Definition & Concept

4. Neutrons: Definition & Concept

Neutrons are the big guys of the atom. This lesson explains the structure of the neutron, its properties, and some of its influences on the function of the atom.

Atomic Number and Mass Number

5. Atomic Number and Mass Number

An atom is defined as the smallest particle of an element that displays the same properties of that element. Learn about the main components of an atom (protons, neutrons, & electrons), the characteristics of each component, and how to determine the atomic number and the mass number of an atom.

What is Atomic Mass? - Definition & Examples

6. What is Atomic Mass? - Definition & Examples

The atomic mass of an element is defined as the summation of the individual particle masses of an atom. Learn about atomic mass through definitions/examples, the basic components of an atom, and how to calculate the atomic mass of an element.

What Are Isotopes? - Definition, Types & Examples

7. What Are Isotopes? - Definition, Types & Examples

Atoms containing different amounts of protons to neutrons are labeled Isotopes. Examine the isotopes occurring of hydrogen and carbon, as well as various other types of isotopes, including some that are radioactive.

Isotopes and Average Atomic Mass

8. Isotopes and Average Atomic Mass

Isotopes are variations of the same element with differing numbers of neutrons and, subsequently, different atomic masses. Learn how scientists consider isotopes when they calculate average atomic mass.

Principles of Radiometric Dating

9. Principles of Radiometric Dating

Radiometric dating is a process used to determine the age of the Earth's rocks and other geological materials, such as carbon. Learn about the principles of radiometric dating and understand its processes by studying radioactive decay, parent and daughter nuclides, and types of decay.

Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life

10. Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life

Scientists use a process called radiometric dating to help determine the age of rocks and other objects. This lesson explains that process, defines important terms such as half-life, and investigates some of the different methods of radiometric dating.

Half-life: Calculating Radioactive Decay and Interpreting Decay Graphs

11. Half-life: Calculating Radioactive Decay and Interpreting Decay Graphs

Scientists use the amount of time it takes for half of an isotope to react or decay, or half-life, of carbon-14 in carbon dating experiments to determine the age of substances. Learn about half-life, decay graphs, and how to calculate radioactive decay.

Types of Radioactive Decay and Their Effect on the Nucleus

12. Types of Radioactive Decay and Their Effect on the Nucleus

Radiation is a byproduct of nuclear energy, but only 1% of all radiation comes from the nuclear industry. Most radiation comes from natural sources, such as rocks or the Sun. Learn about the sources of radiation, the three main types of radioactive decay (alpha, beta, & gamma), and the effect of nuclear decay on the nucleus.

Fusion, Fission, Carbon Dating, Tracers & Imaging: Applications of Nuclear Chemistry

13. Fusion, Fission, Carbon Dating, Tracers & Imaging: Applications of Nuclear Chemistry

Nuclear chemistry is the science of using radioactive isotopes and other nuclear reactions to diagnose and treat medical conditions and also to determine the age of artifacts through a process called carbon dating. Learn about nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, tracers, imaging, and practical applications of nuclear chemistry.

Mass-Energy Conversion, Mass Defect and Nuclear Binding Energy

14. Mass-Energy Conversion, Mass Defect and Nuclear Binding Energy

During a nuclear reaction, small amounts of mass are destroyed and converted into massive amounts of energy in a process called mass defect. Learn about nuclear binding energy, mass defect, and how energy and mass are directly related.

Chromatography, Distillation and Filtration: Methods of Separating Mixtures

15. Chromatography, Distillation and Filtration: Methods of Separating Mixtures

A mixture is defined as a physical combination of two or more substances that are not chemically combined. Learn about the types of mixtures and the methods for separating mixtures (chromatography, distillation, evaporation, crystallization, filtration, dissolving, magnetism, and manual separation).

Gas Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry

16. Gas Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry

Scientists interested in identifying the individual chemicals in a mixture use an instrumental method called gas chromatography mass spectrometry or GC-MS. Continue reading to learn about the ins and outs of this fascinating chemistry technique.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 220 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MCAT Prep: Help and Review course

Support