Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Radioactive Isotopes

Chapter 6 -Form 4 : Nuclear Energy

Radioactive Isotopes
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Alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays.
Alpha particles are helium nuclei with a +2 charge, Big, heavy and slow moving, don't penetrate into materials, Very ionising, Blocked by paper.

Beta particles are high-energy electrons with a -1 charge; Quite small, move quite fast, Penetrate materials moderately, Ionise moderately, for every beta particle emitted, a neutron turns into a proton in the nucleus, some are blocked by thin Aluminium, but certainly blocked by tissue.

Gamma rays are electromagnetic waves with shorter wavelength (higher frequency) than x-rays, Opposite to alpha, Penetrate materials well, Weakly ionising, blocked by 7 cm of lead.

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