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Where is radiation found?
Everywhere. Heat is everywhere on the planet, different rays bombard us every day, cosmic background radiation permeates the entire universe.
What is ionising and non ionising radiation?
Ionising radiation strips electrons to create ions.
Non ionising radiation does not.
What happens under nuclear fission?
Either a nuclear reaction or the radioactive decay that results in the nucleus of an atom being split into smaller particles.
What is the strong atomic force?
It is the force that binds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus of an atom. It is influence by neutrons and prevents the repulsion of protons.
What are radioisotopes?
Atoms with an unstable nucleus and at risk to decay.
What is nuclear radiation?
When particles of ionizing radiation are ejected from the nucleus of an atom.
What are the 3 types of radiation?
Alpha rays: Helium nuclei. Don't travel far, can even be stopped by paper.
Beta rays: Electrons. Several hundred metres, can pass through thin metal.
Gamma rays: Photons. Many kilometres, can pass through concrete or inches of lead.
What are X-rays, how can they be used to make images of bone?
They are similar to gamma rays but made up of electrons orbiting the nucleus. They can pass through soft tissue but not bone and their rebounding can be detected and formed into an image.
What does the term radioactive half life refer to?
The amount of time it takes a quantity of radioactive material to break down to half of its value.
What is biological half life?
The time it takes body systems remove half of a quantity of a substance from itself.
How can radiation damage cells?
Direct damage by colliding with cell components and damaging them.
Indirect damage by ionising cell components and disturbing their functions.
Damaged DNA can affect protein production and create tumours.
What are the 3 most important factors in protecting yourself from radiation?
- 1. Type: Alpha, beta or gamma. This will influence safety precautions.
- 2. Exposure: Minimise the time you are near or exposed to the radiation.
- 3. Distance: Radiation dissipates over distance, stay as far back as is appropriate.