The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [radioactivity]

Questions relating to radioactive substances and the chemistry of radioactivity. Also, use [rare-earth-elements] if the question is about their radioactivity specifically.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Can the presence of radon (Rn-222) be determined by testing dust?

If a relatively unventilated area, like a basement, were to be exposed to radon gas (Rn-222), would the dust in the area possess a detectable amount of lead? Considering lead 214 is a decay product of ...
-4
votes
2answers
59 views

If a beta particle is just an electron, what causes it to be radioactive/dangerous? [closed]

Like what the title says, my question is if a beta particle is just an electron, what causes it to be dangerous? I understand that a beta particle is not only an electron but it is also one with a ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Purifying Potassium-40

What method is commonly used for separating out potassium-40 from natural potassium with a purity grade around 95% or more? How much would one kilogram of potassium-40 cost if this method is used?
-7
votes
1answer
46 views

What Is the Difference Between Radiation and Radioactivity? [closed]

Does all radiation glow green and mutates people on contact?
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Long term composition of matter [closed]

If I have an igneous rock shown by geologic study to be 10,000 years old, approximately what percentage of the atoms (or protons, etc) in the rock might be the same ones that were in it 10,000 years ...
-2
votes
1answer
140 views

Why Rutherford choose Alpha particle for his gold foil experiment? [closed]

Why did Rutherford choose Alpha particles for his gold foil experiment?
29
votes
1answer
8k views

What caused the flashes in the video footage of Chernobyl?

There is video footage of nearby villages in Pripyat, in the first week after the Chernobyl disaster. When I watch it there are villagers leading normal lives in normal clothing. Some Russian nuclear ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Does Suncream have any affect or help protect against radiation

So I was just watching the HBO series Chenoybl and saw that people suffered various degreesvof burns from radiation form Uranium 235 and some were very minor and looked like a normal sun burn. My ...
0
votes
3answers
96 views

Strontium-89 vs strontium-90

Why is radioactive strontium-89 is considered medically useful for bones (along with other benefits) whereas strontium-90 (also being radioactive) is harmful for human body? How does the addition of ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

What is the most stable pear-shaped nucleus? [closed]

I have heard on the Internet that there are at least three pear-shaped nuclei: radium-224, radon-220 (a direct product of the previous isotope), and barium-144. CERN has a webpage about this discovery ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

Why should I care about the highly radioactive elements after fermium? [closed]

After element 100, fermium, there are a bunch of highly radioactive elements like fermium, tennessine, and oganesson, and others. These elements are to radioactive to store, they will instantly ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Nuclear equations for the decay of radon-222 to lead-206 [closed]

I have to answer this on my worksheet. I understand nuclear chemistry equations a bit, as well as the process of alpha decay and somewhat about what happens when an atom changes its number of protons ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

How are Uranium and such materials made

I was wondering, how are materials like uranium, plutonium and other radioctive materials made. Do they all come from the old exploded stars and just been in the mountains for millions of years. Is ...
6
votes
1answer
470 views

What chemical explosives detonate when exposed to alpha particles or nuclear fission products?

Wikipedia's article on nitrogen triiodide $\ce{NI3}$ claims that Nitrogen triiodide is also notable for being the only known chemical explosive that detonates when exposed to alpha particles and ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

A radioactive element that only emits beta rays [closed]

Are there any radioactive elements which only emit beta rays? If not, are there any radioactive elements that only emit beta and gamma rays?
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Will gamma radiation cause “thermal” decomposition of sodium bicarbonate?

I am conducting research for a new drug that contains powdered sodium bicarbonate, and the drug will need to be sterilized after placement into it's container/closure system. Typically, this is ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

Radioactive elements [closed]

Radioactive elements emit energy as far as I understand, but what I don't get is how do you know if an element emits more than any other? That is, how does one measure how much energy an element ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the benefit of using Am-241 in smoke detectors even though it is a radioactive element? [closed]

I see the labels denoting Am-241 in my smoke detectors. I am having a hard time understand why Am-241 is used in smoke detectors even though it is a radioactive element. It seems to me like a lot of ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there radioactivity at absolute zero?

Theoretically, will a radioactive material still be radioactive at absolute zero? What would happen at the lowest realistic temperatures we have ever achieved? Will radioactivity stop at absolute ...
-1
votes
1answer
84 views

Nickel-63 and surge protector / voltage regulator

I've read that nickel-63 is used in surge protectors and voltage regulators. What is it about nickel-63 that makes it particularly suitable for those applications?
0
votes
1answer
72 views

How does the number of electrons increase in beta decay? [duplicate]

So, I am having trouble understanding beta decay. Particularly the number of electrons. For example; Carbon-14 decaying into Nitrogen-14. Carbon-14 has 12 neutrons, 6 protons and 6 electrons. When ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Fluorine and fossils

They are now assisted by chemists who are able to fix dates through the analysis of pollen, radioactive carbon, and fluorine found in connection with fossils.. Here the text is talking about basic ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

dangers of radiation question

At a recent flea market, someone was selling a surplus military device that was marked as having 900 millicuries and should be disposed of in a safe way. I picked it up to read the words. Whould 900 ...
0
votes
1answer
750 views

How is phosphorus-32 produced?

I'm doing an assignment where I have to research a radioisotope of my choice. I decided to do phosphorus-32 and my assignment requires me to explain how the isotope is made. There is very minimal ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Radioactive Decay Process

Please bear with my long winded description. It is classical to model radioactive decay of some particles $A \rightarrow A^\ast$ by the differential equation \begin{align} \frac{\mathrm dN_A}{\...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Half-Life of Radioactive Isotopes: Why? How?

Why do radioactive isotopes have a half-life? I know that they decay in order to become stable but why would it take out enough subatomic particles to be half? Or am I approaching this question the ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

The Mathematic of finding the Decay Product Compoistion of Pitchblende/Uraninite [closed]

Just as the title says. I’m curious as to how you would go about figuring out the amount of decay products in a given sample of Pitchblende/Uraninite. I would hazard a guess at using the half life ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Can we produce tritium from helium 3? If yes how?

I want to know the best and economic way of the manufacture of tritium from helium-3
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Can't nobelium form compounds like other lanthanides/actinides do?

Over the past week I've been browsing through WebElements just to find out some interesting facts/properties about certain elements in the Periodic Table. I've just come across the uncommon element ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Why every atom of a radioactive element, though being indistinguishable in every aspect, doesn't decay simultaneously? [duplicate]

First of all, I know this (or, similar) question has been discussed previously here. But the discussion there couldn't help me completely getting rid of my confusion, hence this attempt. In any ...
3
votes
1answer
347 views

Uses of ruthenium-106?

I read a news article recently about a cloud of ruthenium-106 being released over Europe. The article mentioned one of the uses for this specific isotope is in fuel cells for satellites. I tried to do ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to speed up radioactive decay?

I’m aware that elements like $\ce{^14C}$ have a known half-life, which means that over a span of roughly $5730$ years, half of the $\ce{^14C}$ atoms decay into $\ce{^14N}$. Are there any substances ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

What are the ways to make radioactive water drinkable again? [closed]

Let's say survivors in the area contaminated by radioactive fallout need to somehow process the water from rivers, rain or pipes. How could they go about it? Is it even possible to 'remove ...
5
votes
1answer
363 views

Why do Alpha particles not collide with electrons during alpha decay? [duplicate]

Alpha particles are positively charged, so my question is that during alpha decay, when these are released from the nucleus, why doesn't it ever occur that they collide and grab an electron or two ...
-3
votes
2answers
294 views

Would alpha particles react to form compounds? [closed]

Alpha particles, to my understanding, are just $\ce{He}^{2+}$ ions. Therefore, if one were to emit alpha particles in oxygen, wouldn't the oxygen, ($\ce{O^{2-}}$), react to form $\ce{HeO}$? If so, ...
0
votes
3answers
865 views

Can you decay to half an atom?

In school we are learning about half-life, and I was wondering if it is possible to decay to half an atom?
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Excited helium gas from the colision of alpha particles with beta particles?

As alpha particles are made out of 2 protons and 2 neutrons, they are the same as the helium atom with a +2 charge, but with a certain speed. The beta particles are made out of 1 electron at a certain ...
11
votes
1answer
286 views

Radioactivity of materials [closed]

Suppose that a raidoactive brick of an unknown element with a half-life of one year (dangerous stuff!) is left on a regular desk for a day. After the day has passed, the brick is removed. Does the ...
-2
votes
2answers
578 views

Why atomic number decreases in alpha emission

My teachers taugh me that alpha particle is a helium nucleus carrying net +2 charge, hence if an radioactive subastance emits alpha particle it looses two of its protons and two neutrons but no ...
8
votes
1answer
133 views

Effects of Ionizing a Radioactive Isotope

If you took your favorite radioactive isotope and ionized it using a strong electric field (or any other ionization method), thereby stripping it of an electron, what would happen when it decayed? For ...
7
votes
2answers
740 views

Wouldn't radiolabelled phosphorus in DNA break it apart as it disintegrates?

The Hershey-Chase experiment was designed to prove that DNA is the genetic material in organisms. In this experiment, two batches of viruses were grown in two separate media A and B, with A having an ...
2
votes
1answer
230 views

Is there a relationship between Free Radicals and Beta Particles?

This question is contingent on my understanding of the two terms in the title. As I was taught, a Free Radical is a reactive (high energy?) valence electron released for stability's sake because it is ...
6
votes
0answers
248 views

How to estimate the enrichment of U-234 from the enrichment of U-235?

Fresh nuclear fuel made from naturally occurring uranium (i.e. neither MOX nor ERU fuel) is mainly characterised by the enrichment of $\ce{^235U}$. The mass and activity concentrations of $\ce{^235U}$ ...
3
votes
0answers
409 views

Best Radioactive Isotopes for Energy Generation [closed]

First off, this is research for a video game storyline, I like to be thorough. -- I am looking for the most efficient method of nuclear power generation which: Can survive for hundreds/thousands of ...
1
vote
1answer
337 views

What is the difference between strontium-86 and strontium-90?

I know that strontium ($\ce{Sr^90})$ has a higher mass number than its counterpart, but strontium ($\ce{Sr^86}$) is non-radioactive and not deadly to humans. What makes $\ce{Sr^90}$ so different ...
-1
votes
1answer
764 views

Where do the electron and antineutrino come from in beta decay? [duplicate]

I was studying about nuclear reactions and similar stuff, but stumbled upon this doubt In the process of beta decay, where a neutron transforms into a proton, a positron and an antineutrino, where do ...
1
vote
2answers
180 views

In a sample of radioactive substance all the atoms don't disintegrate simultaneously. Why?

Radioactivity though spontaneous all the atoms don't disintegrate at a time
19
votes
2answers
245 views

What happens chemically to 5'-radiolabeled aqueous thyroxine (thyroid prohormone) when its I-131 undergoes beta+gamma decay?

Related to this question about $\ce{^{14}C}$ beta decay in $\ce{CO2}$, what happens when the $\ce{^{131}I}$ in radiolabeled thyroxine (thyroid prohormone, or "T$_4$") undergoes beta-plus-gamma decay ...
49
votes
3answers
3k views

What happens to a radioactive carbon dioxide molecule when its carbon-14 atom decays?

When carbon-14 decays, the decay products are nitrogen-14 and an electron (and an electron antineutrino, but that's chemically irrelevant*): $$\ce{^14_6C -> ^14_7N + e- + \overline{v_e}}$$ Let's ...
2
votes
1answer
404 views

If the half-life of an isotope exceeds the age of the Universe, then how is it measured?

According to this Wikipedia article, the half-life of Bismuth-209 is 19 billion billion years, which exceeds the age of the Universe by factor on the order of a billion. How is the half-life of an ...