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The process of making materials radioactive by neutron bombardment is usually referred to as neutron activation. Neutrons are generally found in abundance within the cores of operating nuclear reactors where it is the neutron flux that is causing the fission chain to continue. These neutrons can be used to activate stuff. There are whole books on this subject. We'll tackle it here with a few paragraphs, so let's go. There is a funny group of rules associated with the way an atomic nucleus reacts to an incoming neutron. It isn't necessarily like breaking a rack of billiard balls like in so many science shows. It's more like the neutron manages to press up against the nucleus and the nucleus captures it. Then what happens, happens. One of the concepts to be considered is the energy of the incoming neutron. How fast is it going? (Faster isn't necessarily better for increasing the probability of capture.) Another is the size of the target that a given nucleus presents to that neutron. We call that a neutron absorption cross section, and it's measured in barns. (Yes, like the broad side of a barn, as in hitting the broad side of a barn. And who said physicists weren't funny and couldn't make jokes!) There are tables to look this stuff up on because each given isotope has a given neutron capture cross section, just like you'd imagine. One little (or no-so-little) thing is that different isotopes of the same element have different neutron capture cross sections. That ups the challenge for investigators. What happens is that the neutron is captured and all the nucleons (the protons and neutrons that are in the nucleus) must now make up a new contract as to how they are all gonna share this tiny little space where they are all crammed in. You remember that the protons and neutrons in an atomic nucleus are all smooshed together and all of them have given up a bit of mass and that mass has been converted into binding energy or nuclear glue to hold the whole thing together, right? Well, all that went out the window when the new kid arrived on the block. New arrangements have to be made. Depending on the element and the particular isotope of that element that captures a neutron, a number of different things can result. If the neutron is actually captured and there is no stable isotope of that element possible with the "new" configuration, it disintegrates. Disintegration schemes vary, as one might guess. If a stable isotope results, so be it. (It's stable.) If an unstable isotope results, it is radioactive, and rules apply for its decay. The table of nuclides holds the particulars. If a neutron is captured by a fissionable isotope, it fissions. The result will be fission fragments, a neutron or neutrons, and some other stuff. Hit the links and check out the particulars. An example of irradiation by neutrons (activation) might be cobalt. A little slug of cobalt is welded up inside a skin of stainless steel and then the pellet is dropped into an operating nuclear reactor to give it a neutron bath. Cobalt metal is almost entirely cobalt59 which is the only stable isotope. And it presents a big target to an incoming neutron. When it collects an extra neutron, presto! Cobalt60, which is highly radioactive with a 5.2 year half life. We reel in our little pellet of cobalt60 and put it inside a lead lined casket that has a little door. Now we stick labels all over the thing warning folks to leave it the heck alone. Then we truck it out to a job site where welding work has to be x-rayed. We set the thing up pointing at the weld, stick some photographic film on the other side, then run off and open the little door by remote control. The source is looking at the weld and is sending out x-rays (because of the decay of the cobalt60) which passes through the weld and the photographic plate is exposed. We then shut the door and develop the film. One weld x-ray finished. The advantage of this is that we don't have to drag an x-ray machine out there and then try to find a place to plug it in. Big advantage. Oh, as an aside, cobalt is sometimes alloyed into steel to harden it. Cobalt hardened steel could be used in, say, valve seats. But we don't use cobalt hardened steel for valve seats in nuclear plant primary systems. Guess why! Now you're an expert. Be sure to check that your name is spelled correctly on the role sheet and sign it so you can get credit for the class.

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16y ago
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ani sarang

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3y ago
the neutrons make an element radioactive.As the neutrons increase,the nucleus gets heavier and the atom collapses.hence,the atom is unstable and the radiation is thrown out.hence,the neutrons make them radioactive.hope this answer helps you.
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9y ago

when the strong nuclear force can no longer overcome the repulsive electric forces among protons then nucleus become radioactive. The kind of radiation given off by a nucleus depends on the nature of the imbalance in the nuclear forces:

1) Alpha Particles

2) Beta Paricles

3) Gamma and X-Rays; the most penetrating radiation

4) Radioactive Decay

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Q: How do neutrons make nonradioactive elements radioactive?
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What elements calcium carbonate make up?

Protons, neutrons, and electrons , okay?

Which particles make up all elements?

Protons and electrons are particles that make up all elements. Neutrons are also found in all elements with the exception of an isotope of hydrogen. The most common isotope of hydrogen contains no neutrons.

How many neutrons does the isotope carbon have?

Most carbon atoms have 6 neutrons, but a small fraction of them have 7 neutrons (to make carbon-13 isotope atoms) or 8 neutrons to make carbon-14 isotopes. Radioactive carbon atoms with other numbers of neutrons can be made in nuclear reactions.

What makes a chemical radioactive?

An element is radioactive if its atomic nuclei are unstable. The nucleus contains protons and neutrons; the electromagnetic force pushes the protons apart because they have the same charge, but the strong nuclear force pulls the protons and neutrons together. A nucleus is only stable if it has the right balance of protons and neutrons, and doesn't have any extra energy (if it does, it is said to be in an excited state).An unstable nucleus will sooner or later change its state by undergoing radioactive decay. There are many kinds of radioactive decay, but four are particularly well known:* The nucleus may eject a cluster of two protons and two neutrons, which is called an alpha particle.* A neutron may convert into a proton by emitting an electron (in this context called a beta particle) and an antineutrino.* An excited nucleus may release energy in the form of a photon, called a gamma ray.* The nucleus may break up into two or more smaller nuclei, typically releasing one or more neutrons in the process; this is called spontaneous fission.

What are atoms of different elements said to be called?

No. Atoms are what make up elements, so they don't count.

Related questions

Radioactivity is a characteristic of elements with what atoms?

Radioactive elements are ones that have too many or two few protons and/or neutrons to achieve stability. For any normally stable isotope, adding or removing neutrons will make a different isotope, and can easily result in an unstable nucleus.

How man protons does an element have to have to make it radioactive?

One proton is in tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen with two neutrons.

Can isotopes be radioactive or non-radioactive?

No not all isotopes are radioactive, However there certainly are several elements which have no stable isotopes.these are the man made elements also known as "Not found in nature". such as:Tc - Technetium (43)Pm - Promethium (61)Np - Neptunium (93)Pu - Plutonium (94)Am - Americum (95)Cm - Curium (96)Bk - Berkelium (97)Cf - Californium (98)Es - Einsteinium (99)Fm - Fermium (100)No.No, not all isotopes are radioactive. Only atoms that are unstable (carbon-14, etc.) are radioactive

What two elements make up plutonium?

An atom of plutonium contain protons, neutrons and electrons - not other elements.

What elements calcium carbonate make up?

Protons, neutrons, and electrons , okay?

Why is uranium radioactive?

Positives repel each other. In an atom, the nucleas is full repelling protons with their positive charge. It is the nuclear force that holds them together in the nucleus. A Helium atom has only 2 protons which makes it more stable.Uranium on the other hand, has 92 protons all squashed together. This makes it very unstable which allows it to undergo gamma radiation.That is why Uranium is radioactive.Unstable atoms as uranium are radioactive; the stability depends on the ratio between protons and neutrons.

Are radioactive elements made in a laboratory?

What an interesting question. The answer is however complex.It is possible to make small amounts of some radioactive elements or radioactive isotopes of some elements in a laboratory (usually involving a nuclear pile or an accelerator). For instance the element Plutonium is made this way.(Other radioactive elements are produced naturally by the radioactive decay of heavier radioactive elements)However, making a radioactive element or isotope from scratch requires the application of an enormous amount of energy. The place where all elements heavier than the element Iron (Fe - Atomic number 26) are made is in stellar explosions, the death of stars 8 or more times more massive than our Sun, called "supernovas".It is in supernova explosions that the radioactive elements are made.

What three elements make up calcium carbonate?

Protons, neutrons, and electrons , okay?

What 3 elements make up chlorine?

Chlorine itself is an element. It is on the Periodic Table (of the Elements). It is made from protons, electrons and neutrons.

Which particles make up all elements?

Protons and electrons are particles that make up all elements. Neutrons are also found in all elements with the exception of an isotope of hydrogen. The most common isotope of hydrogen contains no neutrons.

What elements make sodium?

Sodium is an element. It is not made of any other elements. If you are reffering to the fundamental particles that make sodium, it is 11 protons, 11 electrons and any number of neutrons, depending on the isotope. 11 or 12 neutrons would be acceptable as an answer.

What are particles that makes up matter?

Atoms make up elements Neutrons, Protons and Electrons make up Atoms. Quarks make up Neutrons and Protons. In the end everything is made of energy.