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University Physics Volume 3

17th Edition
William Moebs + 1 other
ISBN: 9781938168185
BuyFindarrow_forward

University Physics Volume 3

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

The Galileo space probe was launched on its long journey past Venus and Earth in 1989, with an ultimate goal of Jupiter. Its power source is 11.0 kg of 238Pu, a by-product of nuclear weapons plutonium production. Electrical energy is generated thermoelectrically from the heat produced when the 5.59-MeV a panicles emitted in each decay crash to a halt inside the plutonium and its shielding. The half-life of 238Pu is 87.7 years.

  1. What was the original activity of the 238Pu in becquerels?
  2. What power was emitted in kilowatts?
  3. What power was emitted 12.0 y after launch? You may neglect any extra energy from daughter nuclides and any losses from escaping γ rays.

To determine

(a)

The original activity of the 238pu in becquerels.

Explanation

Given:

The mass of 238pu is, m=11kg.

The half time of 238pu is t1/2=87.7y.

Formula used:

The number of nuclei is given by,

  N=mMNA

Here, the number of nuclei is N, the molar mass is M and the Avogadro number is NA.

The original activity of the substance is given by,

  R=(0.693)Nt1/2

Here, the original activity of the substance is R and the half time of the substance is t1/2.

Calculation:

Here, Avogadro number is, NA=6.022×1023mol-1 and the molar mass is, M=238.05g/mol.

The number of nuclei is calculated as,

  N=( 11kg)( 6.022× 10 23 mol -1 )238.05g/mol=(11kg)( 10 3 g 1kg)( mol 238.05g)( 6.022× 10 23 mol)=66

To determine

(b)

The power emitted in kilowatts.

To determine

(c)

The power emitted after 12y of lunch.

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