P2: Nuclear Physics

Here is a document for students taking AQA Additional Science. This document is based on ionisation, nuclear fission, uclear fusion, background radiation, radiation decayand the plum pudding model from the P2 (physics) section. I hope this helps you to revise! Please rate and comment on how to improve :) Also, I have a study gorup called AQA Additional Science where we discuss topics such as this one and many more. Feel free to become a member, the more the merrier!

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  • Created by: I P B
  • Created on: 30-12-09 14:34
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P2: Nuclear Physics

For this section, you need to know about the atomic structure (look
at the revision notes in IPBs section called C2: Atomic Structure

Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have a different
number of neutrons.

So the atomic number of the element will…

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This particle is made up of two protons and two neutrons (a helium

Its relative mass is 4 and its relative charge is 2. This is because
when you add together the number of neutrons and the number of
protons you get 4. Since there are 2 protons which…

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isotope 4019K decays by emitting a beta particle. So it forms a
nucleus of the Calcium isotope 4020Ca.

Gamma () Decay

Gamma () radiation is emitted by some unstable nuclei after and
alpha particle or a beta particle has been emitted

Gamma () radiation is uncharged and has no mass…

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When radioactive particles collide with neutral atoms are
molecules they may become charged due to electrons being
knocked out of their structure.

This alters their structure leaving them as charged particles called

Alpha and beta radiation are therefore known as ionising radiation
and can damage molecules in healthy…

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The fusion of two heavy forms of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium)
is an example of nuclear fusion. When they are forced together,
the deuterium and tritium nuclei fuse together to form a new
helium atom and an unchanged neutron.

Nuclear Fission
Nuclear fission is the splitting of an atomic nucleus.…

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A uranium atom must first absorb a neutron before fission can
take place.

When a neutron collides with a very large nucleus, the nucleus
splits up into two smaller nuclei (e.g. barium and krypton)

This releases energy and new neutrons.

The new atoms formed (e.g. barium and krypton) are radioactive.…

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The Plum Pudding and Nuclear Model
Higher Tier students need to be able to explain how the
Rutherford and Marsden scattering experiment led to the "plum
pudding" Model of the atom being replaced by the nuclear model.
On the next page is a thorough explanation of this which I suggest…

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