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P2 - Radioactivity by Mind Map: P2 - Radioactivity
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P2 - Radioactivity

Where does it come from?

unstable atomic nucleus

(HIGHER: imbalance of protons and neutrons)

background radiation

all around us, all the time

natural sources (most), cosmic rays, rocks and soil, radon gas, can get detectors, food and drink

manmade sources, medical uses

Dangers

All are dangerous

Can cause cancer

Disposal causes problems

needs to be stored for 1000s of years

Protection

Lead apron

Film monitoring badges

Lead glass screens

How long does a radioactive material last?

Decays over time

half-life is time for half the atoms to decay

half-lives are different for different materials

Uses (7)

radioactive tracers

carbon dating

thickness monitoring

cancer treatment

checking welds

sterilising food and medical equipment

smoke alarms

Types

Alpha

Helium nucleus: two protons, two neutrons

stopped by few cm air, sheet of paper

highly ionising

most dangerous inside the body

Beta

fast moving electrons

stopped by few mm of aluminium

Gamma

high energy electromagnetic wave

very penetrating

most dangerous outside the body