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Penetrating Power:

- a few cm of air, paper


- absorbed by 3mm of aluminium
- intensity halved by 5cm of concrete or
1cm of lead
Range in air:
a few cm
a few metres
10 to hundreds of metres

Ionising effect:
very ionising as strong positive charge
104 to 105 ion pairs per cm in air
less ionising as lower mass and charge,
but higher speed 103 ion pairs per cm,
less damage to the body
very weak, so much less damage to the
body, used for diagnostic techniques

of nucleus
Air Total
radonmass
and thoron
gas does not equal
total rocks
mass contain
of the constituents
Rocksthe
most
radioactive isotopes
When
and neutrons
come
Cosmic
raysprotons
high energy
particles
from space which
together
to
make
a
nucleus
mass
is
produce nuclear radiation in the atmosphere
this isthe
mass taken
defect.up by plants and
Food lost,
and drink
isotopes
To
pull
apart
a
nucleus
have to
animals that are dissolved inyou
water
putprocedures
in energy which
replaces
the treatment and
Medical
X-rays
and other
missing
mass, this is the binding
diagnostic
techniques
Otherenergy.
mining wastes, nuclear power, nuclear fallout

Energy is released if the products


have a higher binding energy per

This shows there must be a


small positively charged
nucleus which repels the
alpha particles.
Small since very few
deflected by more than 90
Positive to repel the positive
alpha particles
If a beam of alpha
particles fired at a thin
gold film:
- Most pass straight
through
- Some deflected by
small angles
- Some deflected by
more than 90
because they hit
the nucleus straight Background

Alpha:

Beta minus:

Beta plus:

Electron capture:

Radiation

Two small nuclei can be joined together


Lots of energy is released because the
products have a much higher binding energy
per nucleon
However, lots of energy is required to get
nuclei to fuse because of the strong repulsive
force of the two positive charges of the nuclei

, and

radiatio
n

Energy is released during nuclear fission,


normally Uranium 238 is used
The fission reactions release neutrons
which can cause further fission (chain
reaction)
The neutrons need to be slowed down,
this is done by the moderator
You want the reaction to continue at a
steady rate so you need a critical mass of
fuel
The amount of neutrons is controlled by
control rods which absorb neutrons,
(boron)
In an emergency control rods can be
dropped in to stop the fission reactions
Coolant is sent around the reactor to
remove heat, which then powers the
turbines
The reactor is surrounded by concrete to
prevent radiation escaping
The waste products are very unstable and
dangerous (neutron rich)
They are cooled and then stored deep

Radioacti
vity

Nuclear
Radius

Nuclear
Fission

Mass
defect
Evidence for the
and
nucleus
binding
energy

Nuclear
Density
Nuclear
Radius

Decay constant:

A=
Nuclear
Decay

Radioactive
isotopes in
use

A nucleus is unstable
if it has:
Too many neutrons
Too few neutrons
Too many nucleons
(too heavy)
Too much energy

N
= N
t

Decay is random and


not influenced by
temperature or
pressure
Decay is
exponential:

N=N 0 et
t

A= A 0 e

Carbon dating: The age of a plant


Mass= A M n
(dead) can be determined
by the
activity
14
Uses half-life
4 of C (5570 years)
Electron Diffraction:
All particles have wave like nature,
If electron accelerated then the energy gained,
This will equal final KE,

Closest Approach:
All KE transferred
Angle of first minimum of diffraction around an object of radius R.
to PE

E p=qV =

Qq
4 0r

r can then be

V = r0 A
3

Argon dating: Ancient rocks contain


trapped
A Argon
V n gas as a result of the
decay of 40K
Also decays by - which is 8 times
AMn Mn
more likely
Density=
=
Mass
number:
40
For every N K Apresent,
V
Vifn 1 Ar then
n
40
N+9 K originally.
Plotting R (radius) against
A (mass
If diffracting around Tracers:
a nucleus,
then
R
is number)
theenough
nucleartoradius.
Half-life
stable
take measurements 1but to decay
after
R=r 0 A 3
Emit or radiation so it can be
detected