Physics 2 - Atoms and Radiation

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  • Created by: Sash
  • Created on: 22-05-13 20:25

Atoms and Radiation


  • Isotopes are atoms with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons.
  • They have the same atomic number, but different mass numbers.
  • Atomic number is the numper of protons in an atom. Mass number is the number of prtons + the number of neutrons in an atom.
  • Most elements have different isotopes, but there's usually only one or two stable ones.
  • The other isotopes tend to be radioactive, which means they decay into other eleements and give out radiation.


  • Radioactive substances give out radiation from the nuclei of their atoms - no matter what is done to them.
  • This process is completely random. This means means that if you have 1000 nuclei, you can't say when any of them is going to decay, and neither can you do anything at all to make a decay happen.
  • Radioactive substances spit out one or more of the three types of radiation; alpha, beta and gamma.

Background Radiation

Background radiation is radiation that is present at all times, all around us, wherever you go. The background radiation we recieve comes from:


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