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E=mc2 is an equation derived by the twentieth-century physicist Albert Einstein, in

which E represents units of energy, m represents units of mass, and c2 is the speed of
light squared, or multiplied by itself. Since the speed of light is a very large number and
is multiplied by itself, this equation points out how a small amount of matter can release
a
huge
amount
of
energy,
as
in
a nuclear
reaction.

Radioactivity is the process by which a nucleus of an unstable atom loses


energy by emitting particles of ionizing radiation. A material that
spontaneously emits this kind of radiation- which includes the emission of
energetic alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays is considered
radioactive.

Particles

Symbol
e

Relative
Mass
1/1840

Relative
charge
-1

Electron
Proton

+1

Neutron

-0

Identity

-particles
Helium nuclei

Charge

++

-1

-radiation
Electromagnetic
radiation of high
frequency ~ 3x1019Hz
none

Mass compared with proton

~1/1840

none

Can it affect a photographic


plate?
Does it cause fluorescence?

yes

yes

Yes

Yes

yes

yes

5cm3 of air or a
sheet of paper
1

A few mm of
aluminum
100

several cm of lead

10000
(strong)
straight

100
(moderate)
bent

1
(Weak)
straight

yes

yes

no

yes

yes

no

It is stopped by
Penetrating power
(relative)
Ionizing power
(relative)
Path Through matter

Actual Mass

9.10938215(45)
10-31 kg
1.672621637(83)
1027 kg
1.67492729(28)
1027. kg

Is it deflected by a magnetic
field?
Is it deflected by an electric
field?

-particles
Fast moving
electrons

10000

Physics of the
Atom
The method employed to detect radiation depends on the type of emitter
and the intended purpose of detection. The most well-known method of
detecting radiation is with an ionization chamber. A high energy particle
can dislodge electrons from the atoms it strikes, producing pairs of ions.
Particles are allowed to pass between parallel plates, one with a positive
charge and one with a negative charge. As ionization takes place the ions
each move to the plate with the opposite charge, producing a current. The
current is read on a meter. The Geiger-Mueller counter is based on the
ionization detection principle.

Photographic film can be exposed by all types of radiation, and is


used to monitor exposure of personnel working with high energy
emitters. A visible track in a cloud or bubble chamber can pick up
radioactivity, as can a calorimeter if the energy emitted is quite high.

Year

Name of
Structure

1897

Plum Pudding
Model

1911

Planetary
Model

1913

The Bohr
Atom

1932

Creator

Description

J.J
Electrons are embedded in a diffuse sphere of positive
Thomson
charges.
This model did not account for the case with which
electrons could be knocked off from atoms
Rutherford Model resembles that of a solar system where the nucleus
plays the role of the sun and the electrons play the role of
the orbiting planets.
Neils Bohr The electrons in an atom occupy permissible shells each
of which can hold a maximum number of electrons
The outer occupied shell is known as the valance shell.
Chadwick Found that neutrons could not account for the mass of the
nucleus and thus was later discovered.
Neutron was found to be natural in
charge with mass close to that of proton