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Atoms and Radioactivity

Electrons, Protons and Neutrons
All atoms are made up of electrons, protons and neutrons. There is the same amount of
protons as electrons and the number of protons is what makes the atom a particular
Neutron an uncharged particle inside the nucleus.
Proton a particle, roughly…

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Gamma Rays are photons of high energy electromagnetic waves. They have a low
ionising power, but are highly penetrating and can only be stopped with tens of cm of
Radiation Penetrating Power Ionising Power Stopped By...
Alpha Low High Paper
Beta Medium Medium Thin aluminium
Gamma High Low Thick…

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Medical Uses
Food and Drink
Nuclear Power and Weapons.
Radioactive Decay and Halflife
Although radioactive decay is a random process, and impossible to predict, we can predict
from previous measurements the percentage of unstable atoms in a sample that will decay in
a given time.
The rate of decay…

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The Rutherford Model
In this experiment, a beam of alpha particles was fired at a gold leaf. A zinc sulphide screen
was used around the leaf as a detector of the alpha particles.
Key observations were:
Most alpha particles went straight through the gold leaf
Some were deflected at a…

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The Reactor Vessel
The reactor vessel is the vessel where there are controlled nuclear fissions to create

The Power Station

Nuclear fission releases
energy to heat up the water
which turns to steam. This
turns the turbines which in turn
the generator to generate
electricity. The steam is


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