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Radioactivity
Atoms and Radioactivity
Introduction
Apha beta and
Types of Radiation gamma
radiation
Using Radioactive Decay
Carbon Dating
Other methods
Example
By benji scott and olle
Glossary hawes physics
olle hawes's and benji scott's presentation thursday, 17th of february 2011…read more

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Atoms and Radioactivity ^^^^^^^^^
Click to go to
homepage
Isotopes of some elements have unstable nuclei
In order to become stable the make break apart or decay
This decay causes the nucleus to emit ionising radiation, and an
atom of a different element is formed
These isotopes are called radioisotopes or radionuclides
Example ­ using Carbon
A normal carbon Proton
nucleus looks like this,
it has 6 protons and 6 Neutron
neutrons. This is
perfectly stable.
olle hawes's and benji scott's presentation thursday, 17th of february 2011…read more

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However, another isotope of carbon, (carbon 14) has 6 Proton
protons and 8 neutrons, causing the nucleus to be ^^^^^^^^^
Click to go to
unstable. Neutron homepage
Electron
The carbon 14 decays by beta This forms a nitrogen nucleus
radiation, a neutron turns into a with 7 protons and 7 neutrons,
proton emitting a beta particle. that is a stable nucleus.
olle hawes's and benji scott's presentation thursday, 17th of february 2011…read more

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Different types of radiation
^^^^^^^^^
Click to go to
homepage
Alpha radiation
It is actually the nucleus of a helium atom consisting of 2
protons and 2 neutrons, held tightly together.
It comes directly from the nucleus, so only big atoms tend to
emit it.
This is a massive particle, with 2 positive charge.
It strongly interacts with matter around it, smashing past
atoms and ionising them.
This quickly absorbs their energy so they can only penetrate
short distances through air.
The alpha radiation, a helium
nucleus (2 protons and 2
neutrons).
olle hawes's and benji scott's presentation thursday, 17th of february 2011…read more

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Beta Radiation
^^^^^^^^^
Click to go to
Is a high speed electron, given off when a neutron turns into a proton Beta radiation, (a
homepage
They are many times smaller than alpha radiation high speed
electron)
They only carry 1 single negative charge
They interact much less strongly with matter
So the radiation is much less quickly absorbed, so they can travel through
thin sheets of aluminium.
Gamma Radiation
Sometimes a nucleus that is still unstable after a beta or alpha decay is
still unstable so may emit gamma radiation to become more stable.
This is an electromagnetic wave with a very short wavelength Gamma
It does not change the number of protons or neutrons in the nucleus Radiation, (a
short
It is not strongly absorbed by matter at all electromagnetic
It is most penetrating and needs thick lead 10cm plus to absorb most of wave)
it.
olle hawes's and benji scott's presentation thursday, 17th of february 2011…read more

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