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Nuclear Chemistry: Question 1 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

The temperature levels in a nuclear reactor are maintained primarily by the use of
  1. shielding
  2. coolants
  3. moderators
  4. control rods

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Because heat flows from warm objects to colder objects, the coolant liquid is used to absorb heat generated by the reactor. The coolant prevents temperatures in the reactor from overheating (meltdown). The coolant liquid carries the unused heat to an outside cooling tower--there is a large cooling tower at Nine Mile 2. Some of the heat will be sent to a boiler to generate steam and turn the turbines that generate electricity. Shielding prevents radiation leaks; moderators slow down nuclear reactions; control rods absorb neutrons and halt the reaction.Hint: When you have are sick and have a temperature, you need to cool down.

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Nuclear Chemistry: Question 2 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which radioactive emanations have a charge of -1?
  1. neutrons
  2. gamma rays
  3. alpha particles
  4. beta particles

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: See Reference Table O.

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Nuclear Chemistry: Question 3 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

As the temperature of a sample of a radioactive element decreases, the half-life will
  1. decrease
  2. increase
  3. remain the same

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: Half-life depends on time. Factors like temperature, pressure, and volume have no effect.

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Nuclear Chemistry: Question 4 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which sample will decay least over a period of 30 days? [Refer to Reference Table N]
  1. 10 g of Au-198
  2. 10 g of I-131
  3. 10 g of P-32
  4. 10 g of Rn-222

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: The substance with the longest half-life, P-32 in this problem, will decay the least in 30 days.

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Nuclear Chemistry: Question 5 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

What kind of radiation will travel through an electric field on a pathway that remains unaffected by the field?
  1. a proton
  2. a gamma ray
  3. an electron
  4. an alpha particle

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Particles with charges will be deflected. The only kind of radiation given that has no charge is a gamma ray. It is pure energy and therefore without charge.

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Nuclear Chemistry: Question 6 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which radioactive isotope is used in geological dating?
  1. uranium-238
  2. iodine-131
  3. cobalt-60
  4. technetium-99

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Use Reference Table N. Geological dating covers thousands of years. Only isotopes with long half-lives can be used. The isotope with the longest half-life is uranium-238. Uranium 238 can be used to date rocks, fossils, and meteorites. Carbon-14 is used to date matter that was once alive .


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 7 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which particle cannot be accelerated in a magnetic field?
  1. alpha particle
  2. beta particle
  3. neutron
  4. proton

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: Only charged particles can be accelerated in a magnetic field. A neutron does not have a charge. See also #5, this topic.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 8 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

In a fusion reaction, reacting nuclei must collide. Collisions between two nuclei are difficult to achieve because the nuclei are
  1. both negatively charged and repel each other
  2. both positively charged and repel each other
  3. oppositely charged and attract each other
  4. oppositely charged and repel each other

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: In fusion light nuclei like hydrogen (deuterium) join to form heavier nuclei like helium. Because these nuclei are positively charged, they repel each other. Hint: law of charges states like charges repel and unlike charges attract.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 9 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

A particle accelerator can increase the kinetic energy of
  1. an alpha particle and a beta particle
  2. an alpha particle and a neutron
  3. a gamma ray and a beta particle
  4. a neutron and a gamma ray

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Gamma rays are pure energy so you can eliminate answers 3 and 4. Only charged particles can have their kinetic energy increased in a particle accelerator. (Electric and magnetic fields are used to speed up the particles and these field have no effect on uncharged particles). Neutrons have no charge so only alpha particles and beta particles will be affected. See also #3, this topic.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 10 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which nuclide is a radioisotope used in the study of organic reaction mechanisms?
  1. carbon-12
  2. carbon-14
  3. uranium-235
  4. uranium-238

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Carbon is found in all organic compounds so eliminate answers 3 and 4. Which isotope of carbon is radioactive? Carbon-14. Carbon-14 is also used to date fossils. See also #2, this topic.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 11 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

To make nuclear fission more efficient, which device is used in a nuclear reactor to slow the speed of neutrons?
  1. internal shield
  2. external shield
  3. control rod
  4. moderator

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: Neutrons can be quickly slowed down by colliding with particles such as graphite, heavy water (deuterium oxide), and water. These substances keep the reaction from getting out of control much like a moderator keeps both sides from getting into an argument or fight. (Sort of like talk show host Montel does). See also #13, this topic.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 12 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which equation is an example of artificial transmutation?
  1. 92U238 -> 2He4 + 90Th234
  2. 13AL27 + 2He4 -> 15P30 + 0n1
  3. 6C14 -> 7N14 + -e0
  4. 88Ra226 -> 2He4 + 86Ra222

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Transmutation means to change or transform atoms of one element into atoms of another element. Transmutation can be natural or artificial. In fairy tales it was popular to try to change metal or straw into gold. This still is impossible but with artificial transmutation, nuclei in a special laboratory are bombarded by high energy particles: protons, neutrons, or alpha particles (a helium nuclei). If the nuclei becomes unstable, it can result in another form of the same element (isotope) or a different element. Answers 1, 3 and 4 are examples of natural transmutation.
Notice in answer 2 there are 15 protons on the left side (13 plus 2 = 15) and 15 protons on the right side; atomic mass on the left is 27 + 4 or 31 and on the right it is 30 + 1 or 31. Remember in nuclear and chemical reactions, equations must be balanced: 15 protons on the right, 15 protons on the left.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 13 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Fissionable uranium-233, uranium 235, and plutonium-239 are used in nuclear reactors as
  1. coolants
  2. control rods
  3. moderators
  4. fuels

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: The elements given are used as fuel in fission reactors. Water, heavy water, air, and molten sodium are examples of coolants. Boron and cadmium make good control rods. Moderators like graphite and heavy water slow down neutrons.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 14 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

In the reaction 4Be9 + X -> 6C12 + 0n1, the X represents
  1. an alpha particle
  2. a beta particle
  3. an electron
  4. a proton

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Answer 2 and 3 are the same so eliminate these. The sum of the protons (sum of the atomic numbers) must be the same on the right side as on the left side. Likewise the sum of atomic masses must be the same on each side of the equation.
There are 6 protons on the right side; there must be 6 protons on the left side. Be has 4 so X must have 2 protons (2X). The masses on the right (12 + 1) equal 13 so the masses on the left must equal 13. Be has a mass of 9 so X must have a mass of 4. An alpha particle or 2He,4 is the only correct answer. See Ref. Chart J.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 15 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which substance has chemical properties similar to those of radioactive 235U?
  1. 235Pa
  2. 233Pa
  3. 233U
  4. 206Pb

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: Because valence electrons are directly related to chemical properties, look for an isotope of 235U. Remember isotopes have the same atomic number (number of protons), the same number of electrons, but a different atomic mass because the number of neutrons is different. Eliminate answer 1, 2, and 4 because these are not isotopes of U. They are different elements. 233U is an isotope of 235U so the chemical properties are similar. See also question #12, topic Periodic Table.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 16 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Control rods in nuclear reactors are commonly made of boron and cadmium because these two elements have the ability to
  1. absorb neutrons
  2. emit neutrons
  3. decrease the speed of neutrons
  4. increase the speed of neutrons

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Moderators control the speed of a reaction (answers 3 and 4) so control rods must absorb neutrons. Emitting more neutrons into a nuclear reaction would make the reaction out of control.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 17 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Heavy water and graphite are two examples of materials that are can be used in a nuclear reactor to slow down neutrons. These materials are called
  1. fuels
  2. shields
  3. coolants
  4. moderators

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: Do not be tricked into picking water as a coolant. The question did not ask for a coolant: it asked for "traffic cops" that slow down or moderate or keep "the lid on" a reaction. See also #7, this topic.


Nuclear Chemistry: Question 18 of 18
This question may require the use of the Chemistry Reference Tables or the Periodic Table of Elements.

Which reaction illustrates fusion?
  1. 1H2 + 1H2 -> 2He4
  2. 0n1 + 13Al27 - > 11Na24 + 2He4
  3. 13Al27 + 2He4 -> 15P30 + 0n1
  4. 7N14 + 2He4 -> 1H1 + 8O17

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Fusion is the process of joining two light nuclei to form a heavier one. High pressure and high temperatures are used to make this happen. Tremendous energy is released when the fusion takes place. Answers 2, 3, and 4 are all examples of artificial transmutation or bombardment of an element by a neutron or alpha particle. Only answer 1 shows two light elements combining.




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