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Nuclear Physics Radioactivity Nuclear reactions

Radioactivity: Phenomenon in which a heavy, unstable nucleus, like uranium, gives out radiations i.e. , and is called radioactivity. Radioactive element: Elements which gives/emits nuclear radiation Discovering , and radiations: Naturally radioactivity radiations emitted by naturally occurring elements. Artificial radioactivity Element/Nucleus of certain elements can be made radioactive such radioactivity is called artificial radioactivity. FIG When radioactive element is exposed to photographic film, installed in a vacuum chamber provided with electric and magnetic fields mutually perpendicular, as shown in the diagram above. After exposing over a period, when the film is developed, there spots are obtained on the film. i. ii. a spot towards ve end of the film, indicating that the spot is due to +vely charged radiations called Alpha radiations they are positively charged symbols . Another spot formed towards the +ve end of the film, indicating that the spot is due to vely charged radiations called Beta radiations they are negatively charged Symbol Third spot is formed right in front of the radioactive source indicating that they are not deflected by electricity and magnetic fields, hence are neutral. These radiations are called Gamma radiations Symbol ()


Characteristics of radiations/particles: i. Nature: Alpha radiations are positively charged particles with charge equal to twice the charge of proton, and mass equal to four times the mass of hydrogen atom (or nucleus). Hence particle is taken as helium nucleus i.e. ++2He4 FIG

ii. iii. iv. v. vi.

They carry energy. They move at about one tenth of speed of light. They are highly ionizing i.e. they ionize the gas through which they pass. Least penetrating, can travel a maximum distance of 5 cm in air. They can be blocked/absorbed by the sheet of paper. They show deflection in electric and magnetic fields. FIG

vii. viii.

They produce fluorescence effect on striking fluorescent coated surface. They are harmful radiations which cause skin diseases.

Characteristics of Beta particles/Radiation: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. They cue negatively charged particles and has same charge and mass as that of an electrons, hence they are taken to be fast moving electrons. They carry energy. They move almost at the same speed of light. They are less ionizing than alpha particles/ they have less ionizing power than Alpha particles. They are more penetrating than Alpha particles. They can be blocked by few inns, thick aluminum sheet. They show deflection in Electric and magnetic field. FIG viii. ix. They produce fluorescence effect on striking fluorescent coated surface. They are harmful radiations, cause skin diseases.

Characteristics of rays/radiation: i. ii. iii. iv. Gamma rays are electrically neutral and carry no mass. Hence, they are electromagnetic radiations. Carry energy. They move at the speed of light. They are least ionizing.

v. vi. vii. viii.

They are highly penetrating and can be blocked/absorbed by few cm thick lead sheet. They dont show deflection electric and magnetic fields. They produce fluorescence effect on striking fluorescent coated surface. They are harmful radiations, cause skin disease.

Radiation Detector: GM Tube: FIG GM Tube: A device used to detect nuclear radiations. It consists of a metal cylinder fitted with a axial rod, which is insulated from the cylinder. The rod acts as anode and metal cylinder acts as cathode. Some inert gas is trapped in it, and a mica window is fitted at its outer end. Working: When radiations from the radioactive source enter this tube, they produce ionization in the gas trapped in it. The ions so formed, more towards corresponding electrodes. These moving charges develop weak current in the circuit, this current is fed to amplifier which enlarges this current, and the scalar shows deflection on Ammeter. Whereas the counter records the No. of particles/radiations, entering the tube.


Alpha more current as more ionizing Beta less current as less ionizing

Nuclear Physics! Radioactivity: FIG Traces of ionized paths in alcohol vapors at low pressure due to nuclear radiations observed in cloud chamber. Continuous bold tracks in alcohol vapors represent strongly ionizing/heavy particles or radiation i.e. Alpha. Broken, discontinuous zigzag paths show weaker ionization caused by Beta particles/radiations. Distant clots observed due to weakest ionization caused by gamma radiations.

Fluorescent coated screen can be used to detect nuclear radiations.

more energy

more effect

more energy so shows most effects weaker than alpha weakest affect Randomness (related to type) and spontaneity (related to time) of radiations: It is no possible/impossible of predict the time and type of emission of nuclear radiation. This phenomenon is called randomness and spontaneous behavior/effect. Uranium is a radioactive source, it gives all three radiations. The type and time of radiations cant be predicted. For any radioactive nucleus the type + type cant be emitted.

RADIOACTIVE DECAY: The transformation of parent nucleus into daughter nucleus by emitting Alpha, Beta and gamma radiations (nuclear radiations) is called nuclear decay. Parent Nucleus: Which emits radiations Daughter Nucleus: After emitting radiations

- Parent

+ daughter + alpha

There are three types of nuclear decays Alpha Decay Beta Decay Gamma Decay ALPHA DECAY (): Emission of Alpha particle from a radioactive nucleus During decay, parent nucleus transforms into daughter nucleus according to following equation.
2He 4



decay (Beta): Emission of beta particles from a radioactive nucleus



P e Emitted out as

-1 +
z (-1) (z + 1) Q. If emits 2 and 2 Electron doesnt take part in mass exchange as its mass is negligible.

If emits 2

During a decay, a neutron changes into an electron and proton. Electrons cant stay in So is emitted out Gamma Decay: () Emission of gamma radiations from radioactive nucleus When Emits and it has gaps between as a jar filled with something need to be shaken to fill the gaps differ the thrown (in) of fillings. FIG

The nucleus in this state is known as excited nucleus.

When this shuffles gamma are emitted. Half Life: Duration/Time in which half of the radioactive parent nuclei transforms into daughter nuclei by emitting radiation , and . OR Time in which current falls to half if its initial (original) value. OR Time in which count rate falls to half of its original value. OR Time in which half of the original mass decays by emitting radiations. OR Time in which activity of the radioactive substance falls to half of its original value. FIG * *

Remaining Activity = ( ) x original activity Where n = No. of half lives

Find the mass after 8 days, given that half life is 2 days.

n=4 ( ) = x 800

R.M = 50 gm

Count rate of certain radioactive element falls to one eighth of its initial value, given that half life of the element is 5 years. Calculate the duration in which activity falls to the given value. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )


TP = 15 Back ground Radiations: Radiations coming from surrounding environment Source of Back ground radiations: Sun Earth Crust Nuclear waste

Background Count Rate: Count Rate due to back ground radiations i.e. without any sources exposed to GM tube. Background count rate is always there it can never be eliminated.

A certain radioactive substance when exposed to GM tube, the count rate recorded on GM tube is 900 counts/hours given that background count rate is 100 counts/hour. If half life of the elements is 10 days. Calculate a) Count rate of the element after 2 months

b) Count rate recorded by GM tube after 2 months

n=6 Remaining count rate = ( ) =( ) =( ) = 12.5 (b) element = 12.5 Count rate = 100 + 12.5 = 112.5 count/hr

Activity of a certain element falls to one sixteenth of its initial value in 2 years. Calculate the half life of the element. ( ) ( ) ( ) n=4 Radioactive Isotopes: Atoms of the same element having same number of protons but different number of neutrons Same charge number, different mass no. 1) Uses of Radioactive Isotopes:

Industrial Use: To check the thickness of metal sheets (thin) FIG

To ensure quantity of liquids in packs To detect leakages and cracks in pipes etc.



The water contaminated with radioactive is passed through the pipe and GM tube is moved all around the pipe, variations are observed. Count rate increase leakage , count rate shoots crack

2) Carbon Dating: Archeologists use C-14 isotope of carbon which is an essential part of every living matter for a living body, the amount of C-14 almost remains constant, whereas after the death of the living matter C-14 starts decaying.

3) Agriculture and medical use: GM tube if radiations detected then not affected used to check nutrition and fertilizer use

Water + radioactive Gamma, long half life

MEDICINE: Is contaminate with RA isotope, GM is moved against targeted area, detection in count rate indicates that medicine is reaching the target area hence on behalf of relief to the patient quality can be improved.