   Chapter 19, Problem 84CP

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

# The most significant source of natural radiation is radon-222. 222Rn, a decay product of 238U, is continuously generated in the earth’s crust, allowing gaseous Rn to seep into the basements of buildings. Because 222Rn is an α-particle producer with a relatively short half-life of 3.82 days, it can cause biological damage when inhaled.a. How many α particles and β particles are produced when 238U decays to 222Rn? What nuclei are produced when 222Rn decays?b. Radon is a noble gas so one would expect it to pass through the body quickly. Why is there a concern over inhaling 222Rn?c. Another problem associated with 222Rn is that the decay of 222Rn produces a more potent α-particle producer (t1/2 = 3.11 min) that is a solid. What is the identity of the solid? Give the balanced equation of this species decaying by α-particle production. Why is the solid a more potent α-particle producer?d. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that 222Rn levels not exceed 4 pCi per liter of air (1 Ci = 1 curie = 3.7 × 1010 decay events per second; 1 pCi = 1 × 10−12 Ci). Convert 4.0 pCi per liter of air into concentrations units of 222Rn atoms per liter of air and moles of 222Rn per liter of air.

(a)

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The number of αandβ particles produced and the nuclei produced during the complete decay series is to be stated.  Reason for the concern over inhaling radon gas, the solid produced during its decay and its balanced chemical equation is to be stated. 4pCi per liter of air into concentration units of radon per liter of air and moles of radon per liter of air is to be converted.

Concept introduction: A process through which an unstable nuclide loses its energy due to excess of protons or neutrons is known as radioactive decay.

To determine: The number of α and β particles produced during the complete decay series.

Explanation

Explanation

The number of α and β particles produced are 4_ and 2_ .

The mass number of 92238U is 238 and the mass number of 86222Rn is 222. The difference in mass number is 238222=16

The number of alpha particles is calculated by the formula,

Alphaparticles=Differenceinmassnumber4

Therefore, the alpha particles are 164=4 .

The atomic number of 92238U is 92 and the mass number of 86222Rn is 86

(b)

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The number of αandβ particles produced and the nuclei produced during the complete decay series is to be stated.  Reason for the concern over inhaling radon gas, the solid produced during its decay and its balanced chemical equation is to be stated. 4pCi per liter of air into concentration units of radon per liter of air and moles of radon per liter of air is to be converted.

Concept introduction: A process through which an unstable nuclide loses its energy due to excess of protons or neutrons is known as radioactive decay.

To determine: The reason for the concern over inhaling radon gas.

(c)

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The number of αandβ particles produced and the nuclei produced during the complete decay series is to be stated.  Reason for the concern over inhaling radon gas, the solid produced during its decay and its balanced chemical equation is to be stated. 4pCi per liter of air into concentration units of radon per liter of air and moles of radon per liter of air is to be converted.

Concept introduction: A process through which an unstable nuclide loses its energy due to excess of protons or neutrons is known as radioactive decay.

To determine: The solid produced during the decay of radon and its balanced chemical equation.

(d)

Interpretation Introduction

Interpretation: The number of αandβ particles produced and the nuclei produced during the complete decay series is to be stated.  Reason for the concern over inhaling radon gas, the solid produced during its decay and its balanced chemical equation is to be stated. 4pCi per liter of air into concentration units of radon per liter of air and moles of radon per liter of air is to be converted.

Concept introduction: A process through which an unstable nuclide loses its energy due to excess of protons or neutrons is known as radioactive decay.

To determine: The conversion of 4pCi per liter of air into concentration units of radon per liter of air and moles of radon per liter of air.

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