Particles and Radiation

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These are types of atoms that have the same number of protons but have a different number of neutrons than the atom usually has
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Specific Charge
If you divide the charge (Q) of a particle by the mass (m) then you will have found the specific charge (C kg ^-1)
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Four fundamental forces
Gravity, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force
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Forces in a nucleus
The protons in a nucleus are all positively charged and so they repel each other (this electromagnetic force in action). This should force the protons apart but the strong nuclear force holds everything together
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Strong nuclear force
This holds neutrons and protons together in the nucleus. Hadrons experience the strong nuclear force but leptons do not. It acts on a very short range. Repulsion below 0.5fm or attractive between 0.5fm and 3fm
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Unstable nuclei
Bismuth with a proton number of 83 is the stable nuclei with the highest number of proteins. Above this - they are unstable and radioactive
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The radioactive elements emit
alpha particles (helium nucleus - 2 protons and 2 neutrons) beta particles (high speed electron) and gamma rays (a photon)
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Beta decay
A beta particle is produced when a neutron in the parent nuclide decays into a proton by emitting a beta- particle and an antineutrono
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Corresponding antiparticles for: electrons, protons, neutrons, neutrinos
Positron, antiproton, antineutron, antineutrino respectively
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When a particle and its antiparticle meet
They annihilate each other and their mass is converted into energy in the form of photons
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Pair production
This is where high energy photons can produce a particle and its antiparticle
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Electromagnetic radiation (like gamma rays, x-rays and visible light) have wave properties and they can also behave as particles (photons)
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Energy of a photon
Depends on its frequency
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E = hf = hc/wavelength
E=energy in joules, h=the Planck constant, f =frequency in Hz, c = speed of light in ms^-1 and wavelength is in metres
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All particles with mass attract each other with the force of gravity, the mechanism by which particles attract each other is through the exchange of undetected particles called gravitons
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Electromagnetic force
The virtual photon is the exchange particle (or boson) which carries the electromagnetic force between charged particles.
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Are involved in the strong nuclear force interaction as an exchange particle
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Weak nuclear force
W bosons are the exchange particles involved in the weak nuclear force. The weak force acts within the nucleus, quarks and leptons excerpt forces on each other by exchanging bosons. It is very weak and works only on short distances
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Feynman diagram - repulsion between electrons
Two electrons exchange a photon as they repel each other
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Feynman diagram - B- decay
A neutron forms a proton and gives off an electron and an antineutrino (W-)
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Feynman diagram - B+ decay
A proton forms a neutron and gives off a positron and a neutrino (W+)
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Feynman diagram - Electron capture
A proton and an electron combine to form a neutron and neutrino (W+ right)
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Feynman diagram - Neutrino-neutron collisions
A neutron and a neutrino combine to form an electron and a proton (W+left)
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Feynman diagram - Antineutrino-proton collisions
A proton and an antineutrino combine to form a positron and a neutron (W+right)
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Feynman diagram - Electron-proton collisions
A proton and an electron combine to form a neutron and neutrino (W-left)
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These are the heaviest particle. The group is split into baryons and mesons. Baryons are the heaviest particles, followed by mesons. Hadrons are subject to the strong nuclear force and are not fundamental particles as they are made up of quarks
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The proton is the only stable baryon all the other baryons eventually decay into a proton. Baryons contain three quarks. Examples include protons and neutrons
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These are made up of a quark and an antiquark (e.g. pion and kaon)
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These are subject to the weak nuclear force (they do not feel the strong nuclear force) (includes electrons muons and neutrinos)
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Proton structure
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Neutron structure
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Conservation laws
charge, baryon number, lepton number and strangeness must be the same
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Strangeness conservation
Strangeness is not conserved in the weak interaction
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Specific Charge


If you divide the charge (Q) of a particle by the mass (m) then you will have found the specific charge (C kg ^-1)

Card 3


Four fundamental forces


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Forces in a nucleus


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Strong nuclear force


Preview of the front of card 5
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