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Science Radioactivity Presentation

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Ethin Ng

on 3 June 2013

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Transcript of Science Radioactivity Presentation

RADIOACTIVITY What happens: Long story: Inside atoms a few forces are at work, the strong force is the strongest of them all, but only works at a short distance. It constantly battles electromagnetism, which attempts to force the protons apart. When an atom reaches a certain size, strong force fails and the atom would begin to decay and break apart.

Short story: Atoms break. What it is: Radioactivity, also known as radioactive/nuclear decay, happens when the nucleus of an atom emits ionizing radiation in the form of alpha, beta particles, and gamma rays. The process releases particles and energy. Discovery: Radiation was discovered by Henri Becquerel and the Curies'--Marie and Pierre. Henri was the first to discover radioactivity, but ultimately worked with Marie and Pierre to discover the radioactive properties of the element uranium and helped discover polonium, thorium and radium. All three won a Nobel Physics Prize in 1903. FACT: The Curies' were both murdered by their life's work. Years of radiation sickness didn't save them. THE DANGER: Radiation is the energy and/or particles released during the process of radioactive decay. Because the particles emitted are highly excited and destructive. Radiation is often hazardous--it can affect your body on a genetic level, and burn you. The severity of the danger is increased with the amount of radiation exposed, and the duration of exposure. There are 3 main types of decay processes: -Alpha Decay
-Beta Decay
-Gamma Decay Alpha Decay Alpha decay happens when a particle of 2 neutrons and 2 protons (helium nucleus) breaks away from the atomic nucleus, reducing its atomic number by 2 and mass number by 4. Alpha particles are relatively easy to stop and would not normally be lethal unless injected or consumed into the body in anyway. The murder of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 was done by radiation poison of alpha decay. Beta Decay Beta decay happens when the weak force changes a neutron into a proton, a electron or positron, and an antineutrino. Beta particles are actually just electrons or positrons emitted from the atom. Because beta decay changes a neutron into a proton, it actually increases the atomic number of the atom, but the mass number remains the same. Beta particles have medium penetrating power and can be stopped by aluminum shielding Gamma Decay Gamma decay creates gamma rays, an electromagnetic wave with high frequency and therefore high energy. It is an ionizing radiation, thus extremely dangerous to the human body. Their penetration power is extremely high, and is only dampened by a thick layer of lead. They are branded as the most lethal type of radiation. Uses Although radiation is extremely dangerous, it also has many uses. The main use is for medical purposes, radiation has long since been used to survey the human body and cure cancer. Radiation is also used in producing energy in nuclear power plants. Finally, Carbon-14 is used for in carbon dating in archeology. by Ethan So and Jason Tang
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