About This Chapter
Nuclear Processes - Chapter Summary
This chapter on nuclear processes explains what happens when the center of an atom breaks up into smaller parts and releases energy. At the beginning of the chapter, you'll learn about the different types of radioactive or nuclear decay and their effect on the nucleus. As you progress, you'll also be introduced to the concept of half-life, find out how to calculate radioactive decay and interpret decay graphs.
In addition, the chapter provides information about mass energy conversion, mass defects or deficiencies and nuclear binding energy. You'll also become familiar with the various applications of nuclear energy, including radioactive tracers and imaging. When you complete this chapter, you should be able to:
- Balance nuclear equations
- Predict the product of a nuclear reaction
- Define the terms used to describe nuclear processes, such as fusion and fission
- Explain how radiometric carbon dating can be used to approximate the age of organic materials
- Understand both the benefits and hazards associated with practical use of radiation and radioactivity
Our short and easy-to-follow video lessons help individuals learn new, and sometimes complex, information. Taught by engaging and experienced instructors, the presentations also include lesson transcripts, where key terms are linked to text-based lessons for more information. Online self-assessment quizzes allow viewers to test their own knowledge of the subject, and additional features include video tags and the opportunity to revisit major parts of a lesson without having to re-watch the entire tutorial.
1. Types of Radioactive Decay and Their Effect on the Nucleus
What is meant by the term 'radioactive'? In this lesson we will break down the three main types of nuclear decay particles and discuss their composition, their effect on the nucleus, and their applications.
2. Balancing Nuclear Equations & Predicting the Product of a Nuclear Reaction
When a radioactive particle gives off radiation, what happens to the particle? This lesson will explain the three major types of radiation and what effect they have on the decaying atom.
3. Half-life: Calculating Radioactive Decay and Interpreting Decay Graphs
What causes a radioactive particle to decay? We'll never really know, but our best guess lies in probability. In this lesson, we are going to focus on the half-life, a way of measuring the probability that a particle will react.
4. Mass-Energy Conversion, Mass Defect and Nuclear Binding Energy
When you hear the term 'nuclear power,' what comes to mind? Do you know where that energy and power is coming from? In this lesson, we are going to zoom in on the nucleus of a helium atom to explain how something as small as a nucleus can produce an extremely large amount of energy.
5. Fusion, Fission, Carbon Dating, Tracers & Imaging: Applications of Nuclear Chemistry
What can the sun do that we can't? How do carbon atoms 'date'? Are radioactive isotopes helpful in the medical field? The answers to these questions can be found in this lesson on the applications of nuclear chemistry.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 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 within the NY Regents Exam - Chemistry: Test Prep & Practice course
- Introduction to Chemistry & Matter
- Atomic Structure in Chemistry
- Trends of the Periodic Table
- Introduction to Chemical Bonds
- Properties of Liquids & Solids
- Gas Laws
- Elements, Compounds & Mixtures
- Overview of Stoichiometry
- Types of Reactions in Chemistry
- Equilibrium in Chemistry
- Reaction Rates in Chemistry
- Introduction to Organic Chemistry
- About the NY Regents Examinations
- NY Regents Exam - Chemistry Flashcards