P2 Radioactivity

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  • Created by: _lakmini
  • Created on: 06-03-13 15:48

Radioactivity

  • Unstable nuclei will decay and in the process give out ionising radiation. This process is totally random.
  • When the nucleus does decay, it will spit out one or more out of three types of radiation- alpha, beta and gamma.
  • In the process, the nucleus will often change into a new element.
  • When an atom loses or gains an electron, it is turned into an ion. This is radiation.
  • Alpha particles have a large positive charge. When an alpha particle passes close to an atom, it can pull a negatively charged electron out of orbit.
  • Beta particles have a negative charge and  push an electron out of orbit from an atom.
  • Gamma rays can interact with the electrons orbiting the atom and transfer energy to them. If an electron gets enough energy, it can break free from the atom.
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