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1 SX05_BkK_AdRdStdyWkBk.fm Page 58 Monday, April 18, :09 AM Radioactive Elements (pages ) Radioactivity (pages ) Key Concept: In 1896, the French scientist Henri Becquerel discovered radioactive decay quite by accident while studying a mineral containing uranium. A nuclear reaction is a reaction that involves the nucleus of an atom. A nuclear reaction can change an element into a different element. Some isotopes of elements break apart naturally. Radioactive decay is a process in which the nuclei of unstable isotopes give off atomic particles and energy. Radioactive decay was first discovered by Henri Becquerel. He observed that uranium gives off energy all by itself all the time. Radioactivity is the energy and atomic particles given off by an unstable nucleus. Nuclear reactions cause radioactivity. ideas above. 1. Draw a line from each term to its meaning. Term nuclear reaction radioactive decay radioactivity Meaning a. the energy and atomic particles given off by an unstable nucleus b. a reaction that involves the nucleus of an atom c. the process in which nuclei give off atomic particles and energy 58

2 SX05_BkK_AdRdStdyWkBk.fm Page 59 Monday, April 18, :09 AM 2. Is the following sentence true or false? A nuclear reaction can change an element to another element. Types of Radioactive Decay (pages ) Key Concept: Natural radioactive decay can produce alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays. Radiation is the particles and energy given off during radioactive decay. The three forms of radiation are alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma radiation. An alpha particle is made up of two protons and two neutrons. When an atom releases an alpha particle, the atom s atomic number decreases by 2. The atom has become a different element. A beta particle is a fast-moving electron given off by a nucleus. A beta particle forms when an unstable neutron changes into a proton and an electron. The proton stays in the nucleus, and the electron is the beta particle. The atomic number of the atom increases by 1. The atom is a different element. Gamma radiation is the energy that is released in a nuclear reaction. Whenever an alpha particle or a beta particle is released, gamma radiation is also released. The release of gamma radiation does not change the atomic number of an atom. ideas above. 3. Circle the letter of the form of radiation that does NOT change the atomic number of an atom. a. alpha particle b. beta particle c. gamma radiation 59

3 SX05_BkK_AdRdStdyWkBk.fm Page 60 Monday, April 18, :09 AM 4. The picture shows radioactive decay in which an alpha particle is produced. a. Circle the alpha particle. b. After releasing the alpha particle, how has the atom changed? a. The atom has not changed. b. The atomic number of the atom has decreased by 2. c. The atomic number of the atom has increased by 2. 60

4 SX05_BkK_AdRdStdyWkBk.fm Page 61 Monday, April 18, :09 AM Using Radioactive Isotopes (pages ) Key Concept: Uses of radioactive isotopes include determining the ages of natural materials on Earth, tracing the steps of chemical reactions and industrial processes, diagnosing and treating disease, and providing sources of energy. Radioactive isotopes are useful for two reasons. First, radioactive isotopes change into different elements. Second, radioactive isotopes give off radiation that can be observed. When radioactive isotopes break down, not all of the atoms in a sample break down at the same time. Halflife is the length of time it takes for half of the atoms in a sample to break down. Every isotope has a different half-life. Half-life is useful in finding out the age of rocks and fossils. This process is called radioactive dating. Because radiation can be observed, a radioactive isotope can be used to follow the steps of a chemical reaction. Tracers are radioactive isotopes used to trace the steps of a reaction. Doctors use tracers to find medical problems and kill unhealthy cells. Some power plants use the energy given off by the decay of radioactive isotopes to make electricity. Radioactive materials are dangerous. Radiation can kill healthy body cells and upset the chemical reactions in the body. 61

5 SX05_BkK_AdRdStdyWkBk.fm Page 62 Monday, April 18, :09 AM ideas on page Circle the letter of each sentence that is true about why radioactive isotopes are useful. a. Radioactive isotopes change into different elements. b. Radioactive isotopes can upset chemical reactions in the body. c. Radioactive isotopes give off radiation that can be observed. 6. Draw a line from each term to its meaning. Term half-life radioactive dating tracers Meaning a. radioactive isotopes used to trace the steps of a reaction b. using radioactive isotopes to find out the age of rocks and fossils c. the length of time it takes for half of the atoms in a radioactive sample to break down 7. How do doctors use radioactive isotopes? a. to find the age of a person b. to kill unhealthy cells in the body c. to make electricity 62

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