The leading resource for anyone looking for an accessible and authoritative introduction to nuclear and radiochemistry
In the newly revised Fourth Edition of Nuclear and Radiochemistry: Fundamentals and Applications, distinguished chemist Jens-Volker Kratz delivers a two-volume handbook that has become the gold standard in teaching and learning nuclear and radiochemistry. The books cover the theory and fundamentals of the subject before moving on the technical side of nuclear chemistry, with coverage of nuclear energy, nuclear reactors, and radionuclides in the life sciences.
This latest edition discusses the details and impact of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters, as well as new research facilities, including FAIR and HIM. It also incorporates new methods for target preparation and new processes for nuclear fuel recycling, like EURO-GANEX. Finally, the volumes extensively cover environmental technological advances and the effects of radioactivity on the environment.
Readers will also find:
- An accessible and thorough introduction to the fundamental concepts of nuclear physics and chemistry, including atomic processes, classical mechanics, relativistic mechanics, and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
- Comprehensive explorations of radioactivity in nature, radioelements, radioisotopes and their atomic masses, and other physical properties of nuclei
- Practical discussions of the nuclear force, nuclear structure, decay modes, radioactive decay kinetics, and nuclear radiation
- In-depth examinations of the statistical considerations relevant to radioactivity measurements
Written for practicing nuclear chemists and atomic physicists, Nuclear and Radiochemistry: Fundamentals and Applications is also an indispensable resource for nuclear physicians, power engineers, and professionals working in the nuclear industry.
Jens-Volker Kratz is a retired Professor of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. He obtained his degrees in Chemistry at this university, followed by postdoctoral research with Glenn T. Seaborg at Berkeley. Before moving back to Mainz, he worked as a group leader between 1974 and 1982 at GSI in Darmstadt. He has published 350 scientific articles and two editions of this textbook. For 24 years, he served as editor of Radiochimica Acta. He was nominated Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and has received numerous prizes, including the Otto Hahn Award.
Nuclear and radiochemistry cover a wide spectrum of areas such as (i) studies of the chemical and physical properties of the heaviest human-made elements; (ii) studies of nuclear structure, nuclear reactions, and radioactive decay, (iii) studies of nuclear processes in the Universe, such as geochronology and cosmochemistry; and (iv) applications of radioactivity in a vast variety of fields such as radioanalysis, chemistry, life sciences, and industrial applications, and in the geo- and biosphere. Nuclear chemistry has ties to all traditional areas of chemistry. Nuclear chemists are involved in the preparation of radiopharmaceuticals for use in medicine. Radiometric techniques play an important role in analytical chemistry and are often used as references validating other analytical techniques. The study of the actinide and transactinide elements has traditionally involved nuclear chemists studying the limits of nuclear stability and the periodicity of the periodic table of the elements. The physical concepts at the heart of nuclear chemistry have their roots in nuclear physics. Thus, nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry overlap and are cooperatively called nuclear science. However, there are distinctions between these related fields. Besides the close ties to chemistry mentioned earlier, nuclear chemists are studying nuclear problems in different ways than nuclear physicists. Nuclear physics tends to look into the fundamental interactions between subatomic particles and fundamental symmetries. Nuclear chemists have focused on more complex phenomena where statistical properties are important. Nuclear chemists are more involved in applications of nuclear phenomena. For example, the nuclear fuel cycle or the migration of radionuclides in the environment is so inherently chemical that they involve nuclear chemists almost exclusively. The other term, radiochemistry, refers to the chemical applications of radioactivity and of related phenomena. Radiochemists are nuclear chemists but not all nuclear chemists are radiochemists. There are many nuclear chemists who use purely instrumental, physical techniques for their research and thus their work is not radiochemistry.
1.1 The Atom
The atom is the smallest unit a chemical element can be divided into without losing its chemical properties. The radii of atoms are on the order of 10-10?m (Å). The atomic nucleus, see Figure 1.1, is a very small object with a radius on the order of 1-10?·?10-15?m (femtometer, fm, called fermi) in the center of the atom and contains almost the entire mass of the atom. It contains Z protons, where Z is the atomic number of the element. Being the number of protons, Z is thus the number of positive charges in the nucleus. The nucleus also contains N neutrons, where N is the neutron number. Neutrons are uncharged particles with masses almost identical to the proton mass. Electrons surround the nucleus. Electrons are small negatively charged particles with a mass of 1/1836 of the proton mass. The electrons are bound electrostatically to the positively charged nucleus. In a neutral atom, the number of electrons equals the number of protons in the nucleus. The chemistry of the element is controlled by Z. From quantum mechanics, we know that only certain discrete energies and angular momenta of the electrons are allowed. These quantized states are schematically depicted in Figure 1.1. Later, in Chapter 5, we will see also that nucleons occupy orbits with discrete energies and angular momenta. However, the sizes and energies of atomic and nuclear processes are very different, allowing us to consider them separately.
Figure 1.1 Schematic representation of the relative sizes of the atom and the nucleus.
1.2 Atomic Processes
In the inelastic collision of two atoms, we can anticipate (i) excitation of one or both atoms involving a change in electron configuration or (ii) ionization of one or both atoms, that is, removal of one or more electrons from the atom to form a positively charged ion. For this process to occur, an atomic electron must receive an energy exceeding its binding energy. This energy far exceeds the kinetic energies of gaseous atoms at room temperature. Thus, the atoms must have high kinetic energies as a result of nuclear decay or acceleration to eject electrons from other atoms in atomic collisions. When an electron in an outer atomic electron shell drops down to fill a vacancy in an inner electron shell, electromagnetic radiation called X-rays is emitted. In Figure 1.2, an L-shell electron is shown filling a K-shell vacancy. In the transition, a characteristic K X-ray is emitted. The energy of the X-rays is equal to the difference in the binding energies of the electrons in the two shells, which depends on the atomic number of the element. Specifically, X-rays due to transitions from the L shell to the K shell are called Ka X-rays, while X-rays due to transitions from the M to K shells are termed Kß X-rays. Refining further, Ka1 and Ka2 designate transitions from different subshells of the L shell, that is, 2p3/2 (LIII) and 2p1/2 (LII). X-rays for transitions from M to L are La X-rays. For each transition, the change in orbital angular momentum ?l and total angular momentum ?j must be ?l = ±1 and ?j = 0, ±1.
Figure 1.2 Scheme showing X-ray emission when a vacancy in an inner electron shell caused by nuclear decay is filled. An L-shell electron is shown filling a K-shell vacancy associated with K X-ray emission.
For a hydrogen-like atom, the Bohr model predicts that the transition energy ?E is (1.1)
where R8 is the Rydberg constant, h the Planck constant, c the speed of light, and n the principal quantum number of the electron. The X-ray energy Ex = -?E, after inserting the physical constants, is (1.2)
For Ka X-rays from hydrogen-like atoms (1.3)
and for La transitions (1.4)
In a realistic atom, Z must be replaced by Zeffective to take care of the screening of the nuclear charge by other electrons. Henry Moseley showed the frequencies, v, of the Ka X-rays scale as (1.5)
and those of the La X-rays scale as (1.6)
Thus, Moseley showed that the X-ray energies, hv, depend on the square of an altered, effective atomic number due to screening. The relative intensities of different X-rays depend on the chemical state of the atom, its oxidation state, complexation with ligands, and generally on local electron density. The relative intensities are, therefore, useful in chemical speciation studies. As will be discussed in Chapter 6, radioactive decays can be accompanied by X-ray production and the latter may be used to identify the decaying nucleus.
1.3 Discovery of the Atomic Nucleus
Before the discovery of radioactivity, elements were considered as unchangeable substances. In 1897, J.J. Thomson discovered the electron and concluded that the atom must have a structure. As the mass of the electron is roughly 1/2000 of the mass of hydrogen, he concluded that most of the mass of the atom must be contained in the positively charged constituents. It was assumed that negative and positive charges are evenly distributed over the atomic volume.
In 1911, Ernest Rutherford studied the scattering of a particles in thin metal foils. He found that backscattering to ??>?90° was more frequent than expected for multiple scattering from homogeneously charged atoms. This led Rutherford to postulate the existence of an atomic nucleus having mass and positive charges concentrated in a very small volume. The nucleus was supposed to be surrounded by electrons at the atomic diameter and the electrons do not contribute to the a-particle scattering. He postulated the following ansatz: the nuclear charge is Ze; that of the a particle is Za = 2e. The scattering force is the Coulomb force. The nucleus is at rest in the collision, and the path of an a particle in the field of the nucleus is a hyperbola with the nucleus at the external focus. From these simplifying geometric properties and from the conservation of momentum and energy, Rutherford derived his famous scattering formula which relates the number n(?) of a particles scattered into a unit area S at a distance r from the target foil F, see Figure 1.3, to the scattering angle ? (1.7)
with no being the number of incident a particles, t the thickness of the target foil, N the number of target nuclei per unit volume, and Ma and ?a the mass and initial velocity of the a particle.
Figure 1.3 Schematic representation of the Rutherford scattering experiment. A collimated beam of a particles...