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Author Topic: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem  (Read 9736 times)

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spr33

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Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« on: October 19, 2006, 03:59:29 PM »

Could you help me out?
The question is as follows:

Conder the following information:
i. The layer of dead sking on our bodies is sufficient to protect us from most alpha particle radiation
ii. Plutonium is an alpha particle producer
iii. the chemistry of Pu4+ is similar to that of Fe3+
iv. Pu oxidizes readily to Pu4+

Why is plutonium on of the most toxic substances known?


I know why it is dangerous, but do you have idea why it is that involves all of these facts about plutonium? Much appreciated
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Mitch

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2006, 04:19:39 PM »

Plutonium is not a very toxic substance at all! The AP has this completely wrong.
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constant thinker

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2006, 01:01:32 PM »

Alpha particles aren't dangerous on the outside of our bodies, but what about inside of our bodies...
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Donaldson Tan

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2006, 07:56:13 AM »

A lot of Alpha Particles = Helium Gas.

Helium is a Noble Gas. How reactive is it chemically?
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Yggdrasil

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2006, 01:21:31 PM »

Helium = Alpha Particle - velocity (and w/o electrons)

It's like saying bullets aren't dangerous because without a gun to shoot them, they can't hurt you.  But when you fire a bullet out of a gun and give it velocity, then it becomes dangerous.  Same deal with alpha particles.  Helium nuclei are relatively innocuous until they get ejected from radioactive nuclei at high speeds.
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g_maxi

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2006, 05:34:39 PM »

i'm going to have shot in the dark with this one....

i know that Nd (Neodymium 3+) has the v. similar ionic radii to Ca (Calcium 2+), and that in vitro the Nd ions can replace Ca ions in enzymes, causing them to stop functioning. i'm going to assume that maybe that case here, where there are many enzymes like p450s that used Fe ions (2/3+) and replacing them with Pu 4+, would disable them.
and about the alpha particle points, assuming the Pu replaces the Fe in the heam, it would be transported around the body and exposing alpha particles throughout the body. the alpha pratical penetration depth is irrelevant in such a case.

oh and a google'ed ref to the Nd and Ca ion thingi

http://www.regional.org.au/au/gcirc/2/399.htm
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jacobcolbert

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2007, 09:18:23 AM »

I don't know anything about this, but when i see Iron and biology, I think hemoglobin. Maybe it incorportates itself into hemoglobin in preference to iron? But that would'nt really make sense because Fe3+ is already oxidized so then it wouldn't be able to pick up oxygen. I don't know.
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enahs

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2007, 01:01:43 PM »

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aranciolightning

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 06:06:22 PM »

Pu4+ is an alpha emitter.
If ingested, it replaces Fe3+ in the body and results in the inhibition of the production of red blood cells.

(Chemical Principles by Loretta Jones and Peter Arkins, 2009)
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sjb

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Re: Ap Nuclear Chem Problem
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 12:28:03 AM »

(Chemical Principles by Loretta Jones and Peter Arkins, 2009)

Peter Atkins :)
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