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P2 Topic 6: Benefits and drawbacks of using radioactive materials
Henri Becquerel (1852-1908) investigated how Uranium phosphoresces (emits light) after being exposed to
He observed that `invisible rays' also emitted by Uranium could expose (darken) photographic plates. During
a day with cloud weather in 1896, he stored the uranium…

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Method of disposal Problems
Firing into space Launch vehicle could fall back to Earth, spreading
radioactive material over a wide area.
Dumping barrels in sea Barrels could corrode and release radioactive materials
which could enter food chains.
Storage underground Site has to be geologically stable i.e. very low risk of…

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The activity of a radioisotope is 640 Bq. Two hours later it has fallen to 40 Bq. Find the half life of the sample.

Initial count: 640

After ONE half life: 320

After TWO half lives: 160

After THREE half lives: 80

After FOUR half lives: 40

Four half lives…

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Background radiation is the low-level radiation that's around us all the time. Background radiation comes
o Radioactivity of naturally occurring unstable isotopes which are all around us ­ in the air, food,
building materials and rocks.
o Radiation comes from space in the form of cosmic rays. Fortunately, the…

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When the amount of detected radiation changes, it means the paper is coming out too thick or too thin so the
control unit adjusts the rollers to give the correct thickness.
It needs to be a Beta source because then the paper will partly block the radiation. If Gamma or…


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