Types Of Radiation : Gamma And Gamma

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Physics Essay There are three types of radiation – Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Alpha is 2 protons and 2 neutrons is the most ionising but the least penetrating. It is the most dangerous but is stopped by a few cm of air or a piece of paper. Beta is a high speed electron from the nucleus. It is moderately ionising and stopped by a few cm of aluminium. Gamma is a high frequency electromagnetic wave and is the least ionising but the most penetrating. It is the least dangerous but is only stopped by a few cm of lead or several cm of concrete. Radiation is used in smoke detectors, metal detectors, to test the thickness of paper or plastic, to sterilise medical equipment, to preserve food, as a medical tracer for imaging, as a treatment for cancer…show more content…
The radioactive isotopes must decay into something that is not radioactive or toxic. They use a radiation detector to follow the radioactivity around the body. Radioactive iodine-131 can be used to see if the thyroid gland in the neck is working properly. Iodine is present in small amounts in the body and up to ¼ of the total amount of iodine can be stored in the thyroid gland. The amount of iodine entering the gland can be seen by detecting the radioactivity emitted from the radioactive iodine. Radiation can also be used as to test the thickness of paper and plastic. They need to use different forms of radiation when testing different object e.g. using gamma to test the thickness of metal or beta to test the thickness of plastic. The thicker the material, the more radiation is absorbed and the less radiation reaches the detector. It then sends signals to the equipment that adjusts the thickness of the material so that the right amount of radiation goes through. Anyone who works there must be protected by a lead or concrete shield to protect them against the radiation. Another use for radiation is in smoke detectors. One sort of smoke detector uses American-241 which emits alpha radiation. The alpha particles pass between two charged metal plates, causing air particles to split into positively and negatively charged ions (which means they ionise). The ions
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