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Main Nuclear Physics Natural Radioactivity Nuclear Physics


Nuclear Physics

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define the following terms: radioactivity, isotopes, alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, dosimetry, absorbed dose, dose equivalent, quality factor and becquerel.
  2. State how radioactivity was discovered. 3. Identify some naturally occurring radioactive ores.
  3. Recognize that people are constantly being exposed to radiation from natural and artificial sources. Although inevitable, this radiation should be minimized and no exposure should be regarded as being "safe" to humans or other living organisms.
  4. Develop a generalization based on atomic number regarding some radioactive elements.
  5. Identify the composition of different types of radiation found in nature.
  6. Compare the penetrating power, speed, potential danger, and other important characteristics of alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays.
  7. Identify common characteristics of all radioactive nucleides.
  8. Recognize and demonstrate the correct use of some commonly used symbols for subatomic particles.
  9. Recognize that radioactivity can not be detected by human senses and identify one device that can detect radioactivity.
  10. Identify some of the units that are used to measure radiation and demonstrate an understanding of these units.
  11. Recognize that absorbed radiation has different effects on different types of tissue.
  12. Recognize that there is disagreement among scientists on the long term effect of low dosage exposure to radiation.
Lessons Questions
Online Activities Evaluation

Key Concepts
  • Henri Becquerel accidentally discovered radioactivity.
  • Radioactivity is the spontaneous breakdown of a nucleus and the emission of particles or electromagnetic radiation.
  • Pitchblende and chalcolite are naturally occurring radioactive ores.
  • All naturally occurring elements with atomic number greater than 83 and some lighter isotopes are radioactive.
  • Alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays have been identified as three different types of radiation. All have some common characteristics and their own unique characteristics.
  • Radioactivity is found in natural sources and in artificially produced sources.
  • Although radiation cannot be detected by human sources, there are many devices that can detect this radiation.
  • Exposure to radiation should be minimized. The effect that radiation has on different tissues varies.
  • Dosimetry is the measurement of radiation and the study of its effects on living organisms.
  • There are several units used to measure radiation: absorbed dose, dose equivalent, quality factor and becquerel.

 




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