Radioactivity

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  • Created by: mohap023
  • Created on: 01-03-14 08:13

A radioactive substance contains unstable nuclei, they become unstable by emitting radiation.

There are 3 types of radiation from radioactive substances:

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma

Alpha Particles

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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