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Untitled1_20 - Other types of electromagnetic radiation...

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Unit 1 Fundamental Concepts 1-3 Atom Radioactivity and Nuclear Radiation Everything in nature would prefer to be in a relaxed, or stable state. Unstable atoms undergo nuclear processes that cause them to become more stable. One such process involves emitting excess energy from the nucleus. This process is called radioactivity or radioactive decay . The energy released from unstable (radioactive) atoms is called nuclear radiation . The terms "radiation" and "radioactive" are often confused. By keeping the following relationship in mind, these two terms can be distinguished: RADIOACTIVE ATOMS EMIT RADIATION. There are three main types of nuclear radiation emitted from radioactive atoms: O Alpha. O Beta. O Gamma. Alpha and beta radiation consist of actual particles that are electrically charged and are commonly referred to as alpha particles and beta particles. Gamma radiation, however, belongs to a class known as electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation consists of energy transmitted in the form of waves.
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Unformatted text preview: Other types of electromagnetic radiation include television and radio waves, microwaves and visible light. The only differences between gamma rays and these more familiar forms of electromagnetic radiation are that gamma rays are generally higher in energy and that gamma rays originate in the nuclei of atoms. Alpha Alpha particles are the heaviest and most highly charged of the nuclear radiations. Without additional energy input, these characteristics make alpha particles less penetrating than beta particles and gamma rays. Their energy is used up before they get very far. Alpha particles cannot travel more than four to seven inches (10 to 18 cm) in air and are completely stopped by an ordinary sheet of paper. Their energy is spent interacting with the charged protons and electrons they meet near any surface they strike....
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