Phy106Radioactivity

Phy106Radioactivity - Radioactivity Radiation Radiation :...

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Unformatted text preview: Radioactivity Radiation Radiation : The process of emitting energy in the form of waves or particles. Where does radiation come from? Radiation is generally produced when particles interact or decay. A large contribution of the radiation on earth is from the sun (solar) or from radioactive isotopes of the elements (terrestrial). Radiation is going through you at this very moment! http://www.atral.com/U238.html Isotopes Whats an isotope? Two or more varieties of an element having the same number of protons but different number of neutrons. Certain isotopes are unstable and decay to lighter isotopes or elements. Deuterium and tritium are isotopes of hydrogen. In addition to the 1 proton, they have 1 and 2 additional neutrons in the nucleus respectively*. Another prime example is Uranium 238, or just 238 U. Radioactivity By the end of the 1800s, it was known that certain isotopes emit penetrating rays. Three types of radiation were known: 1) Alpha particles ( ) 2) Beta particles ( ) 3) Gamma-rays ( ) By the end of the 1800s, it was known that certain isotopes emit penetrating rays. Three types of radiation were known: 1) Alpha particles ( ) 2) Beta particles ( ) 3) Gamma-rays ( ) Where do these particles come from ? These particles generally come from the nuclei of atomic isotopes which are not stable . The decay chain of Uranium produces all three of these forms of radiation. Lets look at them in more detail Alpha Particles ( ) Radium R 226 88 protons 138 neutrons Radon Rn 222 Note: This is the atomic weight, which is the number of protons plus neutrons 86 protons 136 neutrons + n n p p ( 4 He) 2 protons 2 neutrons The alpha-particle (29 is a Helium nucleus . Its the same as the element Helium , with the electrons stripped off ! Beta Particles ( ) Carbon C 14 6 protons 8 neutrons Nitrogen N 14 7 protons 7 neutrons + e- electron (beta-particle) We see that one of the neutrons from the C 14 nucleus converted into a proton, and an electron was ejected. The remaining nucleus contains 7p and 7n, which is a nitrogen nucleus. In symbolic notation, the following process occurred: n p + e ( + 29 Yes, the same neutrino we saw previously Gamma particles (...
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Phy106Radioactivity - Radioactivity Radiation Radiation :...

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