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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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
Atoms & Isotopes
Atoms are described by their proton number (Z), which is the number of protons they
contain. And their nucleon number (A), which is the number of nucleons their nucleus
contains (nucleon number = number of protons + number of neutrons). For example the
element `X' below has a proton number of 'Z' and a nucleon number of 'A'.

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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. We can see below that uranium-238
still has 92 protons but it now has 146 neutrons so its nucleon number is now 238.…read more

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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 there
must be another force which keeps the nucleus together. This force is called the STRONG
The strong nuclear force
The strong nuclear force holds neutrons and protons (nucleons) together in the nucleus.…read more

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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 when a neutron in the parent nuclide decays into a proton by
emitting a beta- particle and an antineutrino.…read more

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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 has the same mass as an electron but it has a positive (+) charge
whereas and electron has a negative (-) charge.…read more

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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 6.63 x 10-34Js
f = frequency in hertz, Hz
c = speed of light 3.…read more

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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
particles attract each other is through the exchange of particles called gravitons (as yet
undetected).…read more

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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.…read more

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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 strong nuclear force, they are not fundamental particles as they
are made up of quarks.
Baryons, the proton is the only stable baryon all other baryons eventually decay into a
proton.…read more

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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 antiup antidown.
Mesons - always contain 2 quarks ( a quark and an antiquark). For example the p+meson
contains the quarks, up and antidown.…read more



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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