physics unit 5
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two protons and two neutrons
- high frequency electromagnetic radiation
alpha penetrating power
easily stopped e.g. by a sheet of paper or the outer layer of dead skin cells
beta penetrating power
stopped by thin (a few mm) metal sheet
gamma penetrating power
reduced intensity by 1/2 by about 5cm of concrete or 1cm of lead
.... fields can also be used to determine whether a sample of radioactive sample is emitting alpha , beta or gamma
the major sources of background radiation are
- rocks and buildings
- cosmic rays
- food and drink
this dose is mainly from radon and thorn , radioactive gases that are part of long lived decay series
rocks and buildings
some rocks particularly granite contain uranium-238 or thorium-232 . these two isotopes have long half lives and decay to other radioactive products . the radiation dose from this depends on where you live .
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