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P2.6.3 - P2.6.4

Types of Radiation

What does alpha emit? 2 protons and 2 neutrons
How do the atomic and mass numbers change after alpha radiation has been emitted? The atomic number decreases by 2, the mass number decreases by 4
Name three features of alpha radiation Very ionising, Small level of penetration, Can be deflected by a magnetic or electric fields (in the opposite direction to beta)
Name 3 things that can stop alpha radiation Skin, 1mm of paper, 5cm of air
What does beta emit? A neutron turns into a proton and an electron, the electron is emitted and the proton stays in the nucleus
How do the atomic and mass numbers change after beta radiation has been emitted The atomic number increases by 1, the mass number stays the same
Name three features of beta radiation Less ionising than alpha, Penetrates further than alpha, Can be deflected by a magnetic or electric fields (in the opposite direction to alpha)
Name 2 things that can stop beta radiation 5mm of Aluminium, 1m of Air
What is gamma radiation? An electromagnetic wave that is emitted from the nucleus
How does the nucleus change when gamma radiation is emitted? It stays the same
Name three features of gamma radiation Weakly ionising, Very high penetration Cannot be deflected by a magnetic field
Name 2 things that can stop gamma radiation 1m of concrete, 5-7cm of lead
What is alpha radiation used for? Smoke alarms. Poorly penetrating particles therefore not dangerous. Needs a half-life of several years
What is beta radiation used for? Thickness monitoring - manufacture of paper. Alpha particles would be stopped by a thin sheet of paper and gamma rays would pass straight through it. Needs a half-life of many years so that decreases in count rate are due to the thickness of the paper.
What is gamma (and beta) radiation used for? Tracers in medicine. The source is injected or swallowed by the patient. Its progress around the body is monitored by a detector outside the patient's body. Needs a half-life of a few hours so the patient isn't exposed to unnecessary radioactivity.
What is half-life? The time taken for the number of unstable nuclei in a sample to halve.
Created by: bhbryden
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