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Topic: Nuclear Chemistry Work  (Read 5570 times)

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Offline jdurg

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Nuclear Chemistry Work
« on: February 19, 2005, 11:27:34 PM »
Hey Mitch.  Seeing as how you are studying nuclear chemistry, I thought this thread might spark some insight into that field.  What is the difference between nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry?  Is the physics side all about the generation of the elements and how they decay while the chemistry side is about how to use those radioactive elements and how to process/isolate them?  That's one thing that has always confused me.  I'd have loved to have taken nuclear chemistry in college, but my little university could not offer the class as they couldn't afford the equipment.  (A cyclotron, particle accelerator, nuclear reactor, and government/NRC/AED licensing isn't cheap.   ;))  I can just imagine how much fun your labs must be.  The closest I ever came to a 'nuclear chemistry' type lab was spending a day using an X-Ray diffraction machine and having to wear and submit a radiation dosing card at the end of the day.
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Offline Mitch

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Re:Nuclear Chemistry Work
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2005, 11:40:11 PM »
Nuclear Chemistry, historically, has been involved in the "synthesis" of new elements and isotopes; Chemistry is a synthetic science at heart afterall. Nuclear physics is more interested in the nuclear properties and structure of the newly discovered isotopes/elements. As such Nuclear Chemistry and Nuclear Physics have huge areas where they overlap.

My project, which I was just given just this past Thursday so I'm still learning, is to further investigate the gas-phase Chemistry of the heavy elements. The simple oxides and halides of Rutherfordium through Hassium have been done for the most part. What I suspect will be my focus, is to begin doing the coordination chemistry of the heavy elements with organic ligands and other structures. I've actually been given a lot of leeway on where I want to go with this. It seems a bit overwelming at the moment, but then again I've only just joined this project.
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