Fact or Fiction: Nuclear Physics 101

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Fact or fiction

Table of Contents

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Fact or Fiction

The Splitz

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The splitting of one uranium atom releases substantial amounts of energy- in fact, compared to the combustion of a single carbon atom, the splitting of one uranium atom releases 50 million times more energy.

The splitting of one uranium atom does in fact release 50 million times more energy than the combustion of a single carbon atom.

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Fact or Fiction

Guess the Weight

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Uranium is the heaviest element that is found in nature.

With an atomic mass of 238, Uranium is the heaviest element that is found in nature.

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Fact or Fiction

Massive Majority

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All atoms have neutrons.

Almost all atoms have neutrons. Hydrogen is the one exception.

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Fact or Fiction

Nuclear Morphing?

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Uranium 235 is different from other natural elements because its nucleus can split in a process called nuclear fission.

Uranium is the only naturally occurring element that contains a nucleus which can split in a process called nuclear fission.

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Fact or Fiction

Radiating Radiation

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Radiation comes from the nucleus of atoms.

Radiation is energy in the form of sub-atomic particles (protons, neutrons and electrons) or electromagnetic waves that comes from the nucleus of some atoms as they change or decay into more stable forms.

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Fact or Fiction

Solar Power

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The sun is powered by nuclear energy.

The sun is powered by nuclear energy - the fusion of hydrogen atoms.

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Fact or Fiction

Iso-tropes?

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Isotopes are atoms of the same element with different atomic structures.

Isotopes are atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons in the nucleus. Two isotopes of uranium are found in nature, uranium 238 and uranium 235. Many other forms can be created artificially.

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Fact or Fiction

Halftime Show

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A half-life is the time it takes for an isotope to decay and lose half of its radioactivity.

Half-life is the time it takes for 50% of a given radioactive material to decay and become a new element.

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Fact or Fiction

Shields Up!

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Alpha radiation can be blocked by a piece of paper.

Alpha radiation consists of 2 protons and 2 neutrons being emitted from the nucleus in a process called alpha decay. These particles can be blocked by a sheet of paper and create a health risk for people only if ingested or inhaled.

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Fact or Fiction

Dynamic Trio

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Atoms are made up of electrons, neutrons and protons.

The atom is made up of a nucleus of protons and neutrons with electrons orbiting around it. If we could see one, it would look much like the sun with the planets orbiting around it.

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Fact or Fiction

What's the Matter?

Photo source: NASA - Hubble Space Telescope
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Everything in the universe is made up of atoms.

Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter.

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Fact or Fiction: Nuclear Physics 101

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