Topics for discussion or for written reports
- Describe the three modes of radioactivity decay; explain the changes in atomic number and mass number for each; and diagram an example of each.
- Describe how radioactive decay is related to energy states in the nucleus.
- Describe nuclear stability in terms of the neutron to proton ratio.
- Explain the shape of the chart of the nuclides.
- Describe the distinction between fission and fusion reactions.
- Describe the role of neutrons in causing and sustaining nuclear fission.
- Give several examples of radioactive isotopes; predict how much will remain at the end of their third half life.
- Give examples of reactions producing transuranic elements.
- Define the purpose of accelerators; compare and contrast linear accelerator, cyclotron and synchrotron.
- List and define the four basic interactions between particles.
- Demonstrate parity symmetry using a plane mirror as a prop.
- Describe the nuclear evolution of the Universe in terms of time and temperature.
- Use the World Wide Web to find a nuclear laboratory and learn about the research being done there. Report your findings to your class.
Topics about Nuclear Science related to societal issues
- How does the application of radioactivity benefit and hurt us?
- How does natural radioactivity benefit and hurt us?
- Is radioactivity important for society?
- Is radioactivity unnatural and sinister?
- In the future, what role should nuclear power plants act in supplying power for the world? How will new technologies effect this? Should we build nuclear power plants using newer technology?
- Should we pursue the development of fusion power?
- What should be done about the radioactive waste from medical applications? From nuclear power?
- What should be done with old nuclear weaponsDo we have no more need for nuclear weapons? What can be done with dismantled nuclear weapons?
- Compare and contrast the effects that nuclear, coal, hydroelectric and solar power have on the environment. How does nuclear power effect the Earths C02 level? Doe sit contribute to global warming? Are there other sorts of pollution?