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NAME :_________________________________________ DATE:______________.

PHYSICS FORM 5:
By: Mr. Peeter
CHAPTER 5: RADIOACTIVITY
5.1 UNDERSTANDING THE NUCLEUS OF AN ATOM

1. Atomic structure :

SUBATOMIC PARTICLES.
PROTON ELECTRON NEUTRON
SYMBOL P e n

CHARGE +1 -1 O
= + 1.60 X 10-19 C = - 1.60 X 10-19 C

RELATIVE MASS 1 __1___ 1


1840
= 1.67 X 10-27kg = 9.11 X 10-31kg = 1.67 X 10-27kg

2. PROTON NUMBER AND NUCLEON NUMBER.


a. proton number
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
b. nucleon number
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Isotopes are atoms of the same element with the same proton number but with different number
neutrons. Isotopes are different atoms of the same element.
4. Isotopes of the same element have the same electronic structure and thus they have similar chemical
properties.
5. Radioactive substance are elements with unstable nuclei which undergo spontaneous decay to become
more stable elements while emitting dangerous and invisible radioactive radiations.
6. Isotope of some substances are radioactive, these substances are called radioisotopes.

Practice:
1. A nucleus contains protons and neutrons. Which of these particles experiences an electrostatic
force ?
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Gold (Au ) has 79 protons and 118 neutrons. Write the symbol for this nuclide

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3. An isotope of nitrogen can be represented by ( 7 N ). How many of the following particles
does it have?
protons ______________
neutron ______________
electron ______________

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5.2 ANALYSING RADIOACTIVE DECAY
RADIOACTIVE DECAY
1. Radioactivity is the spontaneous disintegration of unstable nuclei with emission of radiations, energy
and formation of new nuclei.
2. Spontaneous disintegration are random process. It is not influenced by pressure, temperature and
chemicals.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF ALPHA PARTICLES, BETA PARTICLES
AND GAMMA PARTICLES.
CHARACTERISTICS Alpha particles (α ) Beta particles (β) Gamma particles ( γ)
Nature of rays Helium nucleus Fast moving High frequency
electrons electromagnet ray

Symbol

Charge Positif Negative Neutral


+2e -e
+2 x (1.6 X 10-19 C) -1.6 X 10-19 C
Mass Large Very small No mass

Speed Up to Up to Speed of light


(10% speed of (90% speed of
light) light)

Ionisation strength

Penetrating power

Deflection in Slightly deflect great None


electric field

Deflection in Slightly deflect great None


magnetic field

The range in the air A few centimetres A few metres A few hundred
metres to kilometres

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RADIOACTIVE RADIATION DETECTORS
A. CLOUD CHAMBER

CLOUD CHAMBER

PARTS FUNCTIONS
Sponge It is used to press the solid carbon dioxide that is in contact
with the metal plate
Black metal plate The plate is cooled down by the solid carbon dioxide and it also
causes the air in the above to be cooled too. Its black colour
shows a clear track that can be seen
Felt pad saturated with Alcohol evaporaes and it diffuses to the bottom to be cooled
alcohol down
Perspex top When it is rubbed, its top region is charged. This attract the
ions in the chamber to be replaced by the new tracks

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The characteristics of cloud chamber tracks produced by radiations

Alpha particles ( α ) Beta particles ( β ) Gamma rays ( γ )

1. it gives a thick, straight 1. it gives a thinner wavy track. 1. it gives a very short, thin and
track. 2. has a low ionisation irregular track
2. it has a strong ionisation 3. it is a lighter particle so it is 2. very low ionisation strength
strength deflected by the air molecules in
3. it is so massive and not a collision
deflected by the air
molecules

B. DOSIMETER

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C. GEIGER MULLER TUBE

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GEIGER MULLER TUBE

GEIGER-MULLER TUBE.
Central wire Anode attract
(anode) positive electrons. (Potential
electrode differences 450V) the
amount of discharged
ions are counted.
Aluminium tube Cathode attract
positive ions
Low pressure Argon atoms are
argon gas ionized by the
( with some radiations that enter
bromine through mica window
vapour)

- when radiations enter the tube, they ionise the gas atoms
- the electrons produced drift to electrode anode
- and the positive ions move to the cathode
- a small current flows when these ions are discharged and it is amplified to a scaler or a
counter

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D. PHOTOGRAPHIC FILM
- workers in the nuclear industry wear film badges
- these films are coated with silver bromide

E. SPARK COUNTER
- spark counter detects the presence of alpha particles , alpha particles have strong ionising
effect

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NAME :_________________________________________ DATE:______________.
PHYSICS FORM 5:
By: Mr. Peeter
CHAPTER 5: RADIOACTIVITY

5.3 ANALYSING RADIOACTIVE DECAY


A. RADIOACTIVE DECAY
- radioactive decay is spontaneous and random
- during these process the unstable nucleus becomes stable by emitting radiations
- the decay process is not affected by physical or chemical processes

TYPES OF DECAY.
A. ALPHA DECAY
- during alpha decay , the radioactive parent nucleus loses two protons and two neutrons
which carry away energy

B. BETA DECAY
- during the beta decay, a neutron disintegrates into a proton and an electron
- the proton stays in the nucleus but the electron is shot out of the nucleus at high speed
as beta

C. GAMMA DECAY
- when nucleus disintegrate the internal proton and neutron rearrange to a more stable
arrangement this will cause the nucleus to lose energy, this energy is emitted in the form
of gamma ray

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B. RADIOACTIVE DECAY SERIES
- decay of an unstable nucleus of a radioactive can produce a daughter nucleus which is
not stable, the daughter nucleus will continue to undergo a series of successive decays until
a stable configuration is achieved

RADIOACTIVE DECAY SERIES OF URANIUM .


238 U

234 Th Pa u

230 Th
226 Ra
222 Rn
86 87 88 89 90 91 92

C. HALF-LIFE
- radioactive decay is a process depending to probability.
- The half-life of a radioactive substance is defined as the time taken for half of the atoms
to decay. Different radioactive elements have different half-lives
- If N0 is the number of active atom in a period of time,
N is the number of nucleus that has not decayed
n = number of times of half-lives

N= 1 n X N0
2

EXAMPLES OF HALF-LIVES OF RADIOACTIVE ATOMS.


RADIOACTIVE ELEMENT HALF-LIVES
Uranium - 238 4500 million years
Carbon- 14 5730 years
Radium -226 1620 years
Cobalt-60 5 . 3 years
Phosporus-32 15 days
Iodine –131 8 days
Natrium- 24 15 hours
Protactinium-234 72 seconds
Radon-220 56 seconds
Polonium-214 0. 164 seconds

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Graph of Number of activity against time. ( a decay graph )

____________________ ____________________________ by : CIKGU PEETER

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Calculation Practice:
1. A radioactive substance takes 168 seconds to its activations to decrease from 960 per minute to
120 per minute, what is the half-live of this substance?

2. A sample iodine -131 found to have activity of 800 count per second , what will be the number
of activation of this sample of iodine -131 after 16 days if half-live of this sample is 8 days?

3. Phosphorus-32 has a half-live of 15 days, how long it will take for 75% of its substance to decay?

4. If half-live of radioactive substance A is 10 days what is the percentage of substance from the
initial quantity have decayed after 30 days? What is the balance percentage left?

5. A radioactive substance has a half-live of 20 minutes, what is the fraction of amount left from
initial amount after 1 hour?

6. A fossil bone shows activations of ¼ from initial amount of C-14 activations, if the half-live of C-14
is 5730 years find the age of the bone?

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RADIATION EFFECTS:

SOMATIC EFFECT:
1. damages to body tissues except for gametes
2. symptoms , vomiting , body hair will drop, skin damages
3. cataracts , leukemia and mutation

GENETIC EFFECT:
1. damages to gametes
2. mutation to gametes, offspring will be abnormal

5.4 USES OF RADIOISOTOPES


1. AGRICULTURE

- to kill pests  gamma rays are used


- to study effectiveness of fertilisers, Phosphorus-32 and nitrogen-15 will be
used as a tracer
- genetically engineered life form, G.E.L.F. it is produced after effects of
radiations

2. MEDICINE
- gamma ray from Cobalt –60 to kill cancer cells
- Phosphorus-32 and strontium –90 emits beta rays used to treat skin
cancer cell
- Isotopes of (gold)aurum -198 to destroy tumor cells
- barium –138 to trace brain tumors
- sodium–24 to detect blood clotting and thrombosis
- iron-59 to trace circulation of iron in the blood
- iodine-131 to detect and treat thyroid gland
- gamma ray from Cobalt –60 for sterilization of surgical equipment

3. ARCEOLOGI
- C-14 to trace and detect age of fossils
4. INDUSTRY
- To check the level of contains in tin containers and packed substances
( gamma ray )
- To detect pipe leakage under ground ( sodium-24)
- To detect thickness of engine blocks of cars
- Food sterilizations
- To detect thickness of materials

BY : MR PEETER
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NAME :_________________________________________ DATE:______________.
PHYSICS FORM 5:
By: Mr. Peeter
CHAPTER 5: RADIOACTIVITY

5.5 UNDERSTANDING NUCLEAR ENERGY


NUCLEAR ENERGY
- in the process of nuclear reaction or radioactive decay, the mass of the particle is measured in the unit of
atomic mass unit(a.m.u)
- 1 a.m.u = 1/12 X 1.993 X 10 –26 kg
= 1.66 X 10 –27 kg
-
-
-
1 a.m.u = 1.66 X 10-27kg
E = energy released during nuclear reaction E=mc2
- m = mass defect / lost mass
- c = speed of light
Einstein’s Principle of Mass-Energy Conservation

Practice:

NUCLEAR REACTION
- the nuclear reactor produces a high temperature steam to drive the turbo-electric generators.
- The energy that is produced by nuclear fission in the uranium fuel rods releases a lot of heat energy.
- The fuel rods are made of uranium-238 that is enriched with about 3% uranium-235.
- The uranium-235 produces the energy by fission
- The process is conducted by bombarding a high speed neutron to a nucleus of uranium-235, the nucleus
will absorb the neutrons and split into two nuclei. These are the radioactive barium-141 nucleus and the
krypton-92 nucleus. Three new high speed neutrons are also produced with a large amount of nuclear
energy is released.

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GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY FROM NUCLEAR FISSION

PARTS FUNCTIONS
FUEL ROD(URANIUM-235) Fuel rod of uranium –235, nuclear reaction starts
when nucleus of uranium is bombarded with high
speed neutron

CONTROL ROD BORON Boron rod and cadmium rod to absorb extra
neutrons to control chain reactions

GRAPHITE MODERATOR To slow down nuclear reactions

COOLING LIQUID Liquid natrium(sodium), heavier liquid (contains


( HOT COOLING LIQUID) heavy metal), carbon dioxide. These substances
have a very high specific heat capacity

THERMAL HEAT CHANGER

THICK CONTROL WALL

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THE REASONS OF WHY PEOPLE SUPPORT AND OPPOSE
THE USE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY.
SUPPORT OPPOSE
The supply of fossil fuels will be used up and its The waste product from the nuclear reactors
price is rising are very dangerous
Generation of electricity using fossil fuel is The waste can pollute the environment even
more costly. for the next generations
Energy produced by 1kg of uranium is equal
to 3 million kilogram of coal.
Fossil burning pollute the environment The use of nuclear technology to produce
nuclear weapon.
Chances of nuclear war
Accident at nuclear reactors are low, Leakage of radiation very dangerous
When proper precautions are used

The radioactive substance are classified into three groups:


a. LOW DOSAGE OF RADIATION
o Mainly released from hospitals, research lab and industries
o Waste materials are paper, cloth, shoes and other industrial products
o Short half-lives
o Not so dangerous
o Disposed in a lead container

b. MODERATE DOSES OF RADIATION


o released mainly from nuclear reactor
o long half-lives and high radioactivity
o radiation can be danger

c. HIGH DOSES OF RADIATION


o Mainly released from nuclear reactor
o High dosage of radiation , can kill a human being
o High radioactivity

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Practice:

1. Compare nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Hence state the relationship between mass and energy evolved.
[5 marks]
ANS:

Nuclear fission Nuclear fusion


Splitting a heavy nucleus into a lighter nucleus. Combining several light nucleuses to form a heavy
nucleus.

After reaction there is a reduction in mass. After reaction there is a reduction in mass.

Energy is released. Energy is released.

2 2
Energy formed as a result of mass lost, (E=mc ) Energy formed as a result of mass lost ,(E=mc )

2. Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion are sources of energy.


(a) What is meant by nuclear fusion?

(b) A solution of phosphorus-32 with half-life of 14 days is watered onto soil of plants by farmer. A leaf is
removed from the plants a few day later and tested for radioactivity.
I. What is the purpose of doing the test?
II. Why is phosphorus-32 is used ?
III. Suggest an apparatus which could be used to measure the radioactivity of the leaf.

(c) Nuclear energy from controlled nuclear fission can be used to generate electricity. However, it is
potentially dangerous at the same time. As a researcher, you are assigned to design a nuclear power
station for the production of electricity.
Take the following aspects into consideration while designing the power
station:
I. The structure and the location of the power station.
II. How to protect the workers working in the power station from the risk of overdose.
III. The treatment of the nuclear waste.

(d).Uranium-238 decays by emitting a particle to form a daughter, thorium-234.


I. Name the particle emitted.
II. Write down the equation for the decay of uranium-238 nucleus.

(e).Sketch a graph of count rate against time to describe how radioactive materials decay. Show
how the half life can be determined on your graph.

(f) The half-life of an artificial radioisotope is 15 days. Calculate the time taken for the activity of the
radioisotope to decay to 12.5% of its initial activity.

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Answer:

2. a) The process by which two light nuclei combine to form a heavier, more stable nucleus.
b (i) To study the absorption of fertilizers.
(ii) It can be easily absorbed by most of the plants. It has a short half-life (14 days) which is just enough
to carry out the study.
(ii)A Geiger-Muller counter.

c) - The nuclear power station is built from the residential area to avoid excessive
casualties if accident occurs.
- The nuclear power station is built near to a water source (like river and sea) since water is used as a
coolant for the reactor and a huge amount of it is required.
- The reactor surrounded by a thick concrete shield to contain the radiation.

- Storing and transporting radiation materials using remote controlled


mechanical arms to avoid direct contact with high level radiation materials.

- Worker must wear film badges to determine the level of their exposure to radiation.
- Things contaminated with radioactive material should be kept in special containers.
- All radioactive materials should be made known to worker by labeling the containers
and storage place with warning signs.

- Low level liquid nuclear wastes are diluted before they are discharge.
- Intermediate and high level nuclear waste are stored in steel containers and buried deep
below the ground in remote areas.
- The containers and storage areas must be made known to public.

d) (i) Alpha particle

(ii)
__________________________________________________________________________

e)

f) 100% →50% →25% →12.25%


Time taken = 3 * T1/2

= 3* 15 days
= 45 days

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3.a) Complete the equation to show the emission of alpha particle
i)
210 206 4
Po→ Pb + 2
He
82
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4. Determine the energy in unit eV for the reaction shown below

235
U+ 1
0
n→ 90
Kr + 143
Ba + 3 1
n + energy
92 36 56 0

Where U = 235.04556 a.m.u


Kr = 89.91445 a.m.u
Ba = 142.92284 a.m.u
n = 1.00867 a.m.u
c = 3.00 x 108 m s -1
1 MeV = 1.00 x 10 – 13 J

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5. The following equation shown a fusion reaction
2
1 H 1
3
H  24 He 01n + energy

2.01410 u 3.01605 u 4.00260 u 1.00867 u


27 8 1
[ 1 u = 1.66 x 10 kg , c = 3.00 x 10 ms ]
What is the energy produced ?

6. A small amount of a radioactive isotope contains 72 billion unstable nuclei. The half-life of the isotope is
4 hours. How many unstable nuclei would remain after 12 hours?
A 6 billion B 9 billion
C 18 billion D 24 billion
7. A sample of a radioactive isotope is decaying. Which atoms will decay first?
A impossible to know, because radioactive decay is random
B impossible to know, unless the age of the material is known
C atoms near the centre, because they are surrounded by more atoms
D atoms near the surface, because the radiation can escape more easily
8. When a nucleus decays by emitting an α-particle, what happens to
(i) the number of neutrons in the nucleus,
____________________________________________________________________________________
(ii) the number of protons in the nucleus
____________________________________________________________________________________

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eat......................................................

9. In a nuclear reaction U- 235 is bombarded by a neutron giving Cs – 141, Rb – 93 and 2 neutrons and energy
is released . From table below , determine the energy released when one U – 235 atom undergoes such a
nuclear reaction.

Radioactive element Atomic mass unit, u


U- 235 235.0492
Rb – 93 93.92157
Cs – 141 140.91963
Neutron 1.00867

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