Chapter 21 - Learning Goals
1. Write the nuclear symbol for protons, neutrons, electrons, alpha particles, and positrons.
2. Determine the effect of different types of decay on the proton-neutron ratio, and predict the
type of decay that a nucleus will undergo based on it's position relative to the 'belt of
3. Complete and balance nuclear equations, having been given all but one of the particles
4. Write the shorthand notation for a nuclear reaction, or, given the shorthand notation write
the nuclear reaction.
5. Use the ½ life of a substance to predict the amount of radioactive isotope present after a
given period of time.
6. Explain how radioisotopes can be used in dating objects and as radiotracers.
7. calculate the ½ life, the age of an object, or the remaining amount of radioisotope, having
been given any two of these pieces of information.
8. Use Einstein's relation, E = mc2, to calculate the energy change or the mass change of a
reaction, having been given one of these quantities.
9. Calculate the binding energies of nuclei, having been given their masses and the masses of
protons and neutrons.
10. Define fission and fusion, and state which type of nuclei produce energy when undergoing
11. Describe the design of a nuclear power plant, including an explanation of the roles of fuel
elements, control rods, moderator, and cooling fluid.
12. Explain the roles played by the chemical behavior of an isotope and it's mode of radioactivity
in determining it's ability to damage biological systems.
13. Describe various sources of radiation to which the general population is exposed, and
indicate the relative contributions of each.