AQA A-Level Physics/Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation

< AQA A-Level Physics

α RadiationEdit

  • Nature- 2 protons + 2 neutrons, equivalent to a helium nucleus
  • Range in air- Up to 100mm in air
  • Deflection in a magnetic field- Easily deflected
  • Absorption- Stopped by thin foil and paper
  • Ionisation- Strongly ionising
  • Energy of each particle- Constant for a given source

β RadiationEdit

  • Nature- β- = electron; β+ = positron
  • Range in air- Up to 1 metre
  • Deflection in a magnetic field- Opposite direction to α particles, more deflection.
  • Absorption- Stopped by approximately 5mm of aluminium
  • Ionisation- Less ionising than α
  • Energy of each particle- Varies up to a maximum

γ RadiationEdit

  • Nature- Photon of energy
  • Range in air- Follows inverse square law
  • Deflection in a magnetic field- Not deflected
  • Absorption- Stopped by several centimetres of lead
  • Ionisation- Very weakly ionising
  • Energy of each particle- Constant for a given source