The neutrons produced in fission of 235U nuclei have average KE about 2 MeV. Such neutrons are called fast neutrons. These fast neutrons have more tendency to escape instead of triggering another fission reaction. Slow neutrons are more efficient in inducing fission in 92U235 nuclei than fast neutrons. By the use of a moderator, the fast neutrons are slowed to thermal velocities i.e. velocities » 2200 m/s & energies » 0.0235 eV, it is same as that of atoms and molecules at room temperatures, such slow moving neutrons are called thermal neutrons. Light target are better moderators. The commonly used moderator are water, heavy water (D2O), graphite and beryllium. About 25 collisions with deutrons (present in heavy water) or 100 collisions with carbon or beryllium are sufficient to slow down a neutron from 2 MeV to thermal energies.
Most radioisotopes, after an alpha decay or a beta decay, leave the daughter nucleus in an excited state, these excited nuclei make a transition to a state of lower energy by emitting a photon. These photons are charge less, mass less & high energy electromagnetic waves (of the order of million electron volt) & are called the gamma rays.
As a nucleus decays due to internal force of repulsion, there is no net external force on it, hence in any nuclear reaction linear momentum must be conserved.
Before disintegration, the nucleus can be assumed to be at rest, so the total momentum was zero. After disintegration let it be mava & mD vD foralpha particle & daughter nuclei respectively. To conserve linear momentum the total vector momentum must still be zero i.e. mava + mDvD = 0 or mava = -mDvD
i.e. momentum of a particle must be equal & opposite to that of daughter’s nucleus.
In magnitude, mava = mDvD
As mass of alpha particle is much lighter than thorium, thus the lighter α particle carries off most of the energy in the form its KE (about 98% of the total KE).
1. A heavy unstable nucleus (e.g. Uranium, polonium, radium, thorium, actinium, etc.) disintegrates itself naturally, spontaneously & randomly without being forced by any external agent to do so until it acquires stability.
2. The disintegration is independent of all physical and chemical conditions and so it can neither be accelerated nor retarded.
3. The disintegration is random. It is purely a matter of chance for any atom to disintegrate first. It is not possible to predict whether a particular nucleus will decay in a given time interval.
4. The activity (or rate of disintegration, A or R) of a radioactive sample at any instant is directly proportional to the number of undecayed nuclei present in the sample at that instant.
Here λ = disintegration constant or decay constant. & N0 = no. of the atoms present initially i.e. at t = 0.
From above result we can say
The number of active nuclei in a radioactive sample decreases exponentially with time.
The disintegration is fast in the beginning but becomes slower and with the passage of time.
Irrespective of its nature a radioactive sample will take infinitively long time to disintegrate complete.
The larger the value of decay constant l the higher is the rate of disintegration.
5. Half life (T):
6. Fraction ‘f’ of substance left undecayed after ‘n’ half lives is given by:
7. Mean life (τ):
8. Decay constant (λ) is the reciprocal of time for which
2. increases rapidly up to A = 20 & have peaks for 2He4, 6C12 & 8 O16 .
3. increases gradually after A = 20.
4. becomes less or more flat between A = 40 to 120.
Also it has average value in this region is 8.5 MeV.
5. has maximum value 8.8 MeV for the 26Fe56.
6. decrease after A =120 & drops to 7.6Mev for 92U238.
In order to increases the values of binding energies light nuclei undergo fusion while heavy nuclei undergo fission reactions i.e. heavy nuclei become more stable after fission & light nuclei become more stable after fusion.
/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-2.png00kp-web-admin/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/logo-2.pngkp-web-admin2022-01-14 17:27:562022-01-14 17:27:56^Binding energy per nucleon