P2b T6 - using radioactive materials

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  • Using radiation and half-life
    • background radiation and half life
      • background radiation
        • lowest level radiation that is around us all of the time
        • air, food, rocks, buildings
        • cosmic rays from space
          • protected by the atmosphere and magnetic fields
      • half-life
        • the half life of a radioactive isotope is the time taken for half of the undecayed nuclei to decay
        • a short half-life means the activity falls quickly because lots of nuclei decay quickly
        • a long half-life means that the activity falls more slowly because most of the nuclei dont decay for a long time
    • uses of radioactivity
      • household fire alarms- Alpha
      • sterilisation of food and equipment- Gamma
      • tracers and thickness gauges- Beta and Gamma
      • treatment of cancer- Gamma
    • dangers of radioactivity
      • ionising radiation
        • tissue damage
        • cell mutations
      • protection from radiation
        • don't touch it
        • stay as far away as possible
        • exposure time short and keep it in a lead box
    • Nuclear power
      • nuclear waste
        • lots of radioactive material left
          • very long half-lives
          • kept in steel containers covered in lead and put deep underground
          • need lots of material to absorb the radiation before it reaches the surafce

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