These notes are not my own, I found them at which is an incredibly useful site. All I did was put the whole Unit 1 notes into one document and slightly changed the presentation. However, these notes are pretty much everything you need to know for your first physics exam!

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  • Created on: 12-10-11 20:27
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Page 1

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Particles and Radiation
Constituents of the Atom
The constituents of the atom are protons, neutrons and electrons. The protons and
neutrons (nucleons) are found in the nucleus of atoms. The nucleus of an atom is
surrounded by empty space in which there are electrons.

Proton, Neutron & Electron Data


Page 2

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Example; uranium-235 has 92 protons so it's proton number is 92. It
has 92 protons plus 143 neutrons in its nucleus so it's nucleon number is 235.
Isotopes are atoms which have the same number of protons but different numbers of
neutrons. Isotopes are all atoms of the same element.…

Page 3

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Stable and Unstable Nuclei
There are four fundamental forces;

electromagnetic force
strong nuclear force
weak nuclear force
The protons in a nucleus are all positively charged and so they repel each other (this is the
electromagnetic force in action). This should push the protons apart but it doesn't so…

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The proton and nucleon numbers on each side of the decay equation must balance. So if X
decays into Y. The nucleon number of Y must be 4 less than X, and the proton number of Y
must be 2 less than X.

Beta decay (b-)
A beta-particle is produced…

Page 5

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Particles, Antiparticles & Photons
Every type of particle has a corresponding antiparticle, for example;

the positron is the antiparticle of the electron
the antiproton is the antiparticle of the proton
the antineutron is the antiparticle of the neutron
the antineutrino is the antiparticle of the neutrino
The positron for example…

Page 6

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Electromagnetic radiation (like gamma rays, x-rays and visible light etc.) have wave properties
and they can also behave as particles, these particles are called photons.

The energy (E) of a photon depends on its frequency (f).

E = energy of the photon in joules, J
h = the Plank constant…

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Particle Interactions
There are four fundamental forces;

electromagnetic force
strong nuclear force
weak nuclear force
To explain the forces between particles we use the concept of exchange particles or

Gravity ­ gravitons
All particles with mass attract each other with the force of gravity, the mechanism by which…

Page 8

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Repulsion between electrons (e-)

Above two electrons exchange a photon (g) as they repel each other.
A proton (p) and an electron (e-) combine to form a neutron (n) and a neutrino (n).

The exchange particle in the above interaction is a W+ boson.

Page 9

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Classification of Particles
The most basic way of classifying particles is by their mass.

Hadrons are the heaviest particles. This group is then spilt up into baryons and mesons.
Baryons are the heaviest particles of all, followed by mesons.
Leptons are the lightest particles.

Hadrons are subject to the…

Page 10

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Quarks & Antiquarks
We are only going to consider three quarks.

up quark (u)
down quark (d)
strange quark (s)

Combinations of quarks form baryons and mesons.
Baryons - always contain 3 quarks. For example a proton contains the quarks, up up down.
Whereas an antiproton contains the quarks, antiup…



so damn godd!!!!!!!!!!!

Ryan McDonough


Mattie Malling

THANKYOU!!!!!! this is everything that i needed XD


Thank you!


Great resource. U got unit 2? Thanks


I agree with Narghas, this is a great resource, any chance of a unit 2 version also? Thanks!

Miss Meera J

Detailed Notes!! 

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