Radioactivity and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
The nuclear energy
All the elements consist of atoms, The atom consists of a nucleus surrounded by the electrons revolving around it in certain energy levels, The atom mass is concentrated in the nucleus that contains the protons and the neutrons because the mass of the electrons is negligible compared with the mass of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
The chemical reactions between the atoms occur due to the change in the number of the protons and the neutrons inside the nucleus, The composition of the atom is responsible for the physical and chemical properties of the element.
The nuclear energy is stored in the atom’s nucleus, The nuclear energy is originated in the atom due to the presence of the nuclear binding force, The nuclear binding force is the force that binds the nucleus components together and overcomes the repulsion force between the positively charged protons.
Radioactivity phenomenon is the spontaneous decaying of the atoms nuclei of some radioactive elements which are found in nature in an attempt to achieve a more stable composition, It was discovered by a French scientist Henri Becquerel in 1896.
Henri Becquerel discovered the emission of unseen rays from the uranium element, these rays have the ability to penetrate the solid objects, He named these elements (as uranium) by Radioactive elements and this phenomenon by Radioactivity phenomenon.
In the periodic table, There are some atoms of elements, their nuclei have a suitable number of neutrons that make them stable, but the others have a number of neutrons more than the number required for its stability that make them unstable due to its excess energy, and these elements are known Radioactive elements.
Radioactive elements are the elements whose atoms’ nuclei contain a number of neutrons more than the number of neutrons that are required for its stability like Radium, Uranium, Cesium, Polonium, Rubidium, Selenium and Zirconium.
The atom’s nuclei of the radioactive elements emit radiations such as Alpha particles, Beta particles, Gamma radiations until they become more stable, This process is known as Radioactivity phenomenon (the natural radioactivity), The radioactive elements nuclei are unstable due to their excess energy because the number of neutrons is more than the number required for its stability.
There is another type of radioactivity which is known as the artificial radioactivity which is the radiation or the nucleus energy that is either released during the nuclear reactions (that are done in the nuclear reactors and they can be controlled in the safe uses).
The nucleus energy is released during the nuclear bombs (They can not be controlled in the military uses), So, The artificial radioactivity is the radiation or the nuclear energy that is either released during the nuclear reactions or the nuclear bombs.
The peaceful uses of nuclear energy
The scientists were interested in controlling the amount of energy released from the nuclear reactions, So, This energy can be used in the peaceful uses, The nuclear reactions are used in the medical field to treat and diagnose diseases like cancer, They are used in drilling field for drilling of petroleum.
The nuclear reactions are used in the industrial field to convert the sand to silicon sheets which are used in the manufacturing of computer processors and programmed electric circuits that are used in the electric appliances, and they are used to discover the defects in the manufactured products.
The nuclear reactions are used in the agricultural field to eliminate the pests and to improve some plants races, The nuclear reactions are used in the space exploration field as the radioactive materials are used as a nuclear fuel for the rockets that fly in the space.
The nuclear reactions are used in the electricity generation field, The nuclear energy is used to heat the water to produce the steam, This steam is used to operate the turbines to generate the electricity.