Nuclear Physics

Use these resources to deepen your understanding and knowledge of Radioactive Isotopes and the Radiations they emit.

What is Radiation

How can each type of radiation be identified when we cannot see them?

See the link from 2 different views below.
What is incorrect about the first view?

An Electric Field to check which way it deflects. Learn the shape of the paths and use them to identify whether it is Alpha, Beta or Gamma.

A magnetic field will also deflect charged particles and can be used to identify Alpha, Beta and Gamma.
Ensure you can apply FLHR to predict the deflection direction for each radiation.

What is the Effect of Radiation On Tissue?

What do we mean when we say radiation is absorbed?

Alpha or beta will collide, ionise atoms, lose energy and so move slower. They do not disappear but are no longer dangerous.
A Gamma photon transfers all of energy in ionisation and no longer exists, so the intensity of the waves decreases.

Detecting All Radiations

Using a Geiger Counter - to record a count and monitor radiation over time.
It detects all types of radiation but will not help you work out whether it is Alpha, Beta or Gamma.

Use a Cloud chamber if you need to make the radiation"visible". This shows the path that radiation has followed and allows you to work out which radiation it is.
(You can find links to other videos on YouTube)

What is Background Radiation - where does it come from?

Radioactive Decay: Random Yet Predictable - Half Life

Uses of Radioactive Isotopes

The Smoke Detector

The video below uses the smoke detector to recap some important facts about radioactivity - it is a good revision aid.
The smoke alarm sounds when smoke enters the space where the spark happens, blocks the alpha radiation and stops the flow of current.
A NOT gate makes the alarm sound when no current is detected.

Nuclear Fission (chain reactions)......

.... and Nuclear Fusion (Power for The Future?)

How Alpha is Used to Find the Arrangement of Atoms - ALPHA SCATTERING

Ensure the tracks of the alpha curve by the correct amount at the correct point in their path.