University Physics Volume 3

17th Edition
William Moebs + 1 other
ISBN: 9781938168185

University Physics Volume 3

17th Edition
William Moebs + 1 other
ISBN: 9781938168185
Textbook Problem

Large amounts of depleted uranium ( 238 U ) are available as a by-product of uranium processing for reactor fuel and weapons. Uranium is very dense and makes good counter weights for aircraft. Suppose you have a 4000-kg block of 238 U . (a) Find its activity, (b) How many calories per day are generated by thermalization of the decay energy? (c) Do you think you could detect this as heat? Explain.

To determine


The activity of uranium.



Mass of uranium is, m=4000kg.

Formula used:

The relation between the given mass and Avogadro number is given by,


Here, m is the given mass, M is the atomic mass and N is the number of atoms.

Half-life equation is given by,


Here, R is the activity of the plate and t1/2 is the half-life.


The number of atoms is calculated as,

  N=mM×6.022×1023=4000kg238g×6.022×1023=( 4000kg× 1000g 1kg )238g×6.022×1023=1

To determine


The amount of calories per day that are generated by thermalization of decay energy.

To determine


Whether the heat generated as thermalization of the decay can be detected as heat.

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