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Radioactivity

Everything around us is made up of atoms.

An atom consists of protons, neutrons and electrons. The protons and neutrons are found in the nucleus of the atom (the very small centre) and the electrons orbi
around the nucleus.

Particle Relative charge Location

Proton +1 Nucleus

Neutron 0 Nucleus…

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There are three main types of nuclear radiation, these are alpha, beta and gamma.

Alpha Beta Gamma

Symbol

Contains 2 protons and 2 neutrons 1 electron ­ from the nucleus An electromagnetic wave

Emitted when 4 particles are emitted from the A neutron changes into a proton The nucleus vibrates…

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completes a circuit. If smoke Can be used as a tracer either in the body or in water pipes etc. A small amount
particles get I the way, the circuit of gamma source is introduced into the vessels and a gamma detector is placed
is broken and sets off an…

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Some isotopes tend to emit radiation very quickly and this means that they have a short half life. Some isotopes emit their radiation very slowly this means that t
have a long half life. Isotopes with long half lives are good for when you need radiation for a long period…

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When rocks are formed, they contain a known % of radioactive uranium. The half life of this radioactive uranium is about 4500million years. Uranium eventuall
decays to lead. So if we compare the amount of lead to the amount of uranium we can find out how much uranium has decayed…

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