   Chapter 31, Problem 65PE

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

Data from the appendices and the periodic table may be needed for these problems.Construct Your Own ProblemConsider the generation of electricity by a radioactive isotope in a space probe, such as described in Exercise 31.64. Construct a problem in which you calculate the mass of a radioactive isotope you need in order to supply power for a long space flight. Among the things to consider are the isotope chosen, its half−life and decay energy, the power needs of the probe and the length of the flight.

To determine

A problem in which you calculate the mass of a radioactive isotope you need in order to supply power for long space fight.

Explanation

Given info:

Consider the generation of electricity by a radioactive isotope in a space probe, such as described in Exercise 31.64.

Formula used:

The initial power of source,

P=P0e( 0.693t t1/2 )P0=Pe( 0.693t t 1/2 )

Here t is the time of flight, P is the power of source at time t . t1/2 is the half life time of source

Calculation:

To determine initial mass of the source, if a space probe has 238 Pu as the power source with power recorded as 12.48×103W after 12 years. The half life of source is 87.7 years and it emits 5.59 MeV α particles in each decay.

We have, P0=12.48×103W, t = 12y and t1/2=87.7Y

P0=(12.48×103W)e[( 0.693)( 12y)]/87.7yP0=13.72kW

The initial power emitted by the source is 13

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