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IGCSE PHYSICS CORE: ATOMIC PHYSICS

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ATOMIC PHYSICS
Atomic structure, Radioactivity

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IGCSE PHYSICS CORE: ATOMIC PHYSICS

  1. 1. IGCSE PHYSICS CORE
  2. 2.  Nucleon Number A  Proton Number Z  Nuclide  Isotope
  3. 3. Certain nuclei are unstable. They decay spontaneously and emit a particle (either alpha or beta) and nucleus forms an isotope of a new element. Unstable = Radioactive Decay = Disintegrate Random = Spontaneous
  4. 4.  Low level radiation in our environment.  Mostly naturally occuring.  The sun as cosmic rays, radioactive rocks, radon gas.
  5. 5. Nuclear radiation can knock electrons out of atoms in the air or in your body. This leaves the atom positively charged as an ion.
  6. 6. Alpha particles are made of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. This means that they have a charge of +2, and a mass of 4. Alpha particles are relatively slow and heavy. They have a low penetrating power - you can stop them with just a sheet of paper. Because they have a large charge, alpha particles ionize other atoms strongly
  7. 7. •Beta particles have a charge of minus 1, and a mass of about 1/2000th of a proton. . •They are fast, and light. •Beta particles have a medium penetrating power - they are stopped by a sheet of aluminum •Beta particles ionize atoms that they pass, but not as strongly as alpha particles do.
  8. 8. •Gamma rays are waves, not particles. This means that they have no mass and no charge. •Gamma rays have a high penetrating power - it takes a thick sheet of metal such as lead, or concrete to reduce them significantly. •Gamma rays do not directly ionize other atoms •We don't find pure gamma sources - gamma rays are emitted alongside alpha or beta particles. Strictly speaking, gamma emission isn't 'radioactive decay' because it doesn't change the state of the nucleus, it just carries away some energy.
  9. 9.  Atoms are unstable and they break up or decay to form stable nuclei.  The decay is random  The decay causes new elements to be formed.  The decay process is different for alpha, beta, and gamma emissions.
  10. 10. A substance loses 2 protons and 2 neutrons when alpha particle is given off.
  11. 11. • mass number stays the same • proton number increases by one • electron leaves the nucleus at high speed.
  12. 12.  This is the amount of time taken for half the nuclei of a radioactive substance to decay.
  13. 13. 1. Tracers 2. Radiotherapy 3. Sterilisation 4. Thickness monitoring 5. Carbon Dating- after an organism dies the amount of C-14 inside it begins to decay. It can be used to find out how old a substance is. 6. Dating Rocks
  14. 14. By ionising atoms, radiation causes chemical reactions to occur in living cells. The damages the cell’s DNA and leads to mutation. Mutation causes cancer. SIX MAIN PRECAUTIONS: 1. Use sealed containers 2. Use tongs 3. Display the warning sign 4. Wear radiation badge 5. Minimize exposure 6. No eating or drinking

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