Nuclear Physics, OCR- Unit5, module 3

Nuclear Physics, OCR- Unit5, module 3

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  • Created on: 13-05-12 18:25
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Physics Unit 5, module 3
Sameer Jahabarali Physics
Rutherford Alpha Particle Scattering Experiment consists of directing
beams of -particles (2 protons and 2 neutrons) at a sheet of gold
foil. This provides the evidence for the existence of charge and the
small size of the nucleus, through the following 3 observations:
Most of the fast and charged -particles, went straight
through, large distances between electrons and nuclei
Some of the -particles were deflected back at large angles,
charged particles in the nuclei
Some of the -particles were deflected backwards
Particle Mass (Kg) Charge (C)
Protons 1.66 x 10-27 1.60 x 10-19
Neutron 1.66 x 10-27 0
Electrons 9.11 x 10 -31 -1.60 x 10-19
The atom consists of the protons, neutron and electrons, whereby the protons and neutrons are in the
nucleus and the electrons orbit the nucleus. A typical nuclear diameter is 1 x 10 -14m while the typical atomic
diameter is 1 x 10 -10m (hence the atom is 10,000 times bigger than the nucleus).
The atom is arranged in such a way due to the force acting between the particles. There are three forces
acting between them:
Strong nuclear force, which is the strongest attractive force between all
nucleons (particles in the nucleus) but has short range (distance)
Electric force, which is the force between charged particle (proton and
electron) which can dominate the strong force in a longer distance (2.5x
proton diameter). This is calculated by Coulombs law.
Gravitational force, which is the attractive force between the mass of
the particles. This is calculated by Newton's laws of motion
Isotopes are a nucleide (atoms with same proton number) with a different mass
due to a difference nuetron number. All nucleides are represented using the
notation on the right. Whereby the proton number goes at the bottom and
nucleon(number of protons + neutrons) number goes at the top.
These notations are used in nuclear reaction to form a nuclear decay equation (e.g. ). This
works because all quantities are conserved in a nuclear decay.
Fundamental particles

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Physics Unit 5, module 3
Sameer Jahabarali Physics
Fundamental particles are the smallest constituents known to build matter. The fundamental particles that
make up protons and neutrons are charged constituent called quarks.…read more

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Physics Unit 5, module 3
Sameer Jahabarali Physics
Charge = 2/3 Charge = -1/3
Up (u) Down (d)
Charm (c) Strange (s)
Top (t) Bottom (b)
-decay is caused by weak interactions (weak force) between quarks. There are two type of -decay ( and ):
Radioactive
decay
Radioactive decay is a spontaneous and random occurrence of an unstable nuclei.…read more

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Physics Unit 5, module 3
Sameer Jahabarali Physics
Gamma Reduced by many cms No mass No Speed
rays of lead or a few metres charge of light
of concrete
Activity (A) of a radioactive material is the rate of decay, which is
directionally proportional to the number of non-decayed atoms (N) in
that material. Hence the formula is given: A = N, where is the decay
constant.…read more

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Physics Unit 5, module 3
Sameer Jahabarali Physics
and annihilates, matter can be changed into energy. This is summarised by the formula E= mc2.
Binding energy is the energy given out when particles bind together, which
gives out energy in form of light and heat as it loses mass. This can be
calculated using E= mc2.…read more

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Physics Unit 5, module 3
Sameer Jahabarali Physics
Environmental effects of nuclear waste:
Carcinogenic- harmful to all living things as it may cause cancer as the radioactive material
penetrates through the DNA causing changes to the genetic information.…read more

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