A radioactive substance contains unstable nuclei, they become unstable by emitting radiation.
There are 3 types of radiation from radioactive substances:
- An alpha particle is 2 neutrons and 2 protons
- They are big and heavy and slowmoving
- They don't penetate very far into metals and are stopped quickly even when travelling through air.
- Due to size, they are strongly ionising (they bash into a lot of atoms an knock electrons off them before slowing down, therefore creating ions.
- They have a positive charge
- Beta particles are in between alpha and gamma particles in terms of properties
- They are electrons
- They are quite small and move quite fast
- They penetrate moderately into materials
- They have a long range in air
- They are moderately ionising
- For every beta particle emmited, a neutron turns to a proton in the nucleus
- A Beta particle has virtually no mass and a charge of -1.
- Gamma Rays are very shot wavelength EM Waves
- they are the opposite of Alpha particles
- They penetrate far into materials without being stopped
- They pass straight through air
- Gamma Rays have no mass and…