Você está na página 1de 51

Section 18.

α , β and γ radiations

• Origins and nature of α , β and


γ radiations
• Properties of radiation

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 1


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 7)

Origins and nature of α , β and γ


radiations

u b s ta n c e s
s
it r a d ia t io ns
em
r a di o a c t ive

process Radioactivit
y

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 2


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 7)

Origin and nature of α , β and γ


radiations

Radioactivity
— unstable nuclei emitting alpha,

beta particles & gamma rays


radioactive decay / disintegration

Emit from nuclei of atoms


→ nuclear radiations

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 3


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 7)

α particles
Alpha particles
Symbol 4 or 4
2 He
2

Nature helium nucleus
proton
(2 protons & 2 neutrons)
Charge +2 electric charges (+2e)
Speed up to 3 × 107 m s−1

neutron Energy same KE for a particular


source

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 4


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 7)

β particles
Beta particles
Symbol 0
β or 0
electron -1 -1 e
Nature electron
Charge −1e
Speed up to 2.7 × 108 m s−1
Energy various KE, for a particular
source

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 5


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 7)

γ rays
Gamma rays
Symbol 0

0
Nature electromagnetic waves with
frequencies higher than 3
× 1019 Hz
Charge neutral
Speed 3 × 108 m s−1 (speed of light)
Energy /

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 6


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 8)

Properties of radiation – Ionizing power


By collision
electron of air molecule
knocked out
nucleus

proton
 particle neutron
electron

 particle (with KE)


collides with air
molecule

form ion-pair

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 7


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 8)

Ionizing power
By collision
gain energy
(air molecule
nucleus ionized)

proton
 particle neutron
electron

lose energy

Chance of having head-on


collisions is very low.

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 8


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 8)

Ionizing power
By electrostatic force
α particle (+2e)
→ set up E- field
→ attract e− of air
molecules
→ e− pulled off  particle
moving direction of alpha particle
→ ion pairs formed

electron
ion pair
positive ion

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 9


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 9)

Ionizing power

ionizing power
— amount of ion pairs produced per cm

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 10


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 9)

Comparison of ionizing power


ionizing power

α β γ
Strongest Weaker Weakest

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 11


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 9)

Comparison of ionizing power


Because…
α β γ
• +2e, exerts ∀ −1e , exerts • electrically
greater force on smaller force on neutral, exerts no
air molecules air molecules force on air
• moves at • travels faster → molecules
relatively low chance of • travels very fast
speed ionizing lower (speed of light)
→ chance of → chance of
ionizing higher ionizing very low

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 12


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 9)

Comparison of ionizing power


No. of ion pairs produced
α β γ
105 ion pairs per 103 ion pairs per chance of
cm cm collision very
slim →
seldom produce
ion pairs

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 13


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 10)

Example 1:
The following figure shows a simple circuit.
(a) Explain briefly why there is no current recorded.
(b) The microammeter shows a reading when a beam of α -
particles passes through the air gap between the metal
plates. Explain why.
Solut
ion
(a) Since air is a poor conductor of electricity,
there is no current flow.
(b) When α -particles pass through the air gap, a large number of ion
pairs are produced. The positive ions are attracted towards the
negative plate while the negative ions move to the positive plate.
This gives rise to the current flow in the circuit.
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 14
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 10)

Class Practice 1:
Two positively charged aluminium strips are held as shown.
They repel each other initially. Ans insulating
wer rod
When an α -source is placed near
collapse
to the strips, the strips _____________
(collapse / repel further). This is because
ionize
α -particles __________ (ionize / neutralize)
air molecules and the positive charges
on the strips are neutralized by the aluminium strips
electrons
________________ 
(α -particles / electrons / positive ions). -sourc
e

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 15


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 10)

Range in air

Expt 18A scaler


Range of alpha
particles
-source
(americium)

metre ruler
GM tube

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 16


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 11)

Range in air

-particles
• ionizes air molecules
• loses KE
• finally stop
→ absorbed by air

The distance radiation travelled before absorption


range

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 17


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 11)

Comparison of range
Range in air

α β γ
About 5 cm Up to several Up to several
metres hundred
metres

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 18


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 11)

Comparison of range
Because…
α β γ
strong ionizing much weaker • extremely weak
power ionizing power ionizing power
→ loses KE → loses KE →longest range
readily slower • intensity
→ shortest range → longer range
1

distance travelled

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 19


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 12)

Example 2:
1
(a) An alpha particle is emitted at a speed of of that of light
10

(speed of light = 3 × 108 m s−1). Assuming that the mass of


Solut
ion
An aalpha
neutron is equal
particle to of
consists that ofprotons
two a proton
and= two × 10−27 kg, find
1.67neutrons.
Hence, the mass
the initial of anenergy
kinetic alpha particle is equalparticle.
of the alpha to the total mass of
two protons and two neutrons.
m = 2 mp + 2 mn
= 4 × (1.67 × 10−27 ) ( mp = mn)
= 6.68 × 10−27 kg
Kinetic energy of the alpha particle:
1 2

KE = × m × v = × (6.68 × 10 − 27 ) ×  × 3 × 108  = 3 × 10 −12 J


2 1 1
2 2  10 
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 20
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 12)

Example 2: (Cont)
(b) If the range of this alpha particle is 6 cm in air, and the
energy needed to produce one ion-pair is 7.2 × 10−19 J, find

the number of air molecules that the alpha particle can


ionize along its path. Hence, find the ionizing
Solutpower of the
alpha particle.
Number of ionized air molecules ion
3 × 10 −12
=
7.2 × 10 −19
= 4.2 × 106
Ionizing power of the alpha particle
= Number of ion-pairs produced per cm
4.2 × 10 6
= = 7 × 105 ion-pairs cm−1
6
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 21
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 13)

Cloud chamber tracks


felt ring
Diffusion cloud soaked with transparent
chamber alcohol lid

shape of tracks
→ types of
radium
radiations source

dry ice
compartment rubber
wedge
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 22
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 13)

Cloud chamber tracks


 -particle tracks

Tracks
— thick & straight
— about the
same length

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 23


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 13)

Cloud chamber tracks


-particle tracks
Tracks
— thin &
twisted
— different
lengths

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 24


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 13)

Cloud chamber tracks


-ray tracks
Tracks
— seldom leave
tracks
— similar to that
formed by -
particle even
thinner

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 25


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 14)

Cloud chamber tracks


alcohol vapour
diffuses to lower light
region layer of
felt ring soaked with & condensed
→ cool
alcohol supersaturated
transparent lid vapour formed
upper
compartment
radioactive
source
insulator lower
compartment
cool the lower
region of upper
foam dry ice
base lid chamber
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 26
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 14)

Cloud chamber tracks


radiation emitted
→ ionizes air
molecules
→ alcohol vapour
condenses
readily on ions
→ forms white
tracks

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 27


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 14)

Class Practice 2:
(a) The following diagrams show the cloud chamber
tracks when the radioactive sources cobalt-60, radium-
226 and americium-241 are used.

cobalt-60 radium-226 americium-241

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 28


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 15)

Class Practice 2: (Cont)


(a)

cobalt-60 radium-226 americium-241

Write the type(s) of radiation emitted by each source in


the following table. Ans
wer
Source Type(s) of radiation emitted
Cobalt-60
β
Radium-226 α, β
Americium-241
α
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 29
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 15)

Class Practice 2: (Cont)

(b) Why do α , β and γ radiations produce different


cloud chamber tracks? Explain the tracks by
considering the properties of each radiation: ionizing
power, mass, range, kinetic energy.

(i) α -particles: Ans


The thick tracks are due to wer

the strong ionizing power of alpha


particles. A large number of ion-pairs
are formed along their paths.

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 30


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 15)

Class Practice 2: (Cont)

(b) (i) α -particles: Ans


The tracks are straight because wer
alpha particles have relatively large
mass. When they travel in air , their paths
can hardly be deflected by air molecules.

The length of each track is about 5 cm. This


shows that Ans
wer
the range of alpha particles in air
and the fact that they are emitted with the
same kinetic energy.

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 31


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 15)

Class Practice 2: (Cont)

(b) (ii) β -particles:


Much thinner tracks are produced because
Ans
they have weak ionizing power.
wer
Ans
The twisted tracks show that wer

their paths are deflected frequently.


Since a beta particle is simply an electron and
has a small mass, its path can be deflected
easily by collisions with air molecules.

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 32


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 15)

Class Practice 2: (Cont)

(b) (ii) β -particles:


The various lengths of the beta tracks reveal that
Ans
they are
weremitted with different kinetic energies.

(iii) γ -rays:
We can hardly see the tracks produced by
γ -rays because Ans
wer
they seldom ionize air molecules
due to their extremely low ionizing power.

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 33


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 16)

Electric deflection
positive metal negative metal
plate plate CAL Workshop 1

 Properties of alpha,

 beta and gamma
rays


• γ -rays
electrically neutral
⇒ not deflected
• α -particles towards
negative plate
β -particle deflected
more than α -particle as • β -particles towards
its mass is smaller positive plate
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 34
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 16)

Magnetic deflection
Expt 18B scaler
Deflection of
beta particles in
magnetic field a slit formed
by two
lead plates

GM tube

to scaler

 -source
a pair of (strontium)
slab-shaped
Thinking 1
magnets
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 35
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 17)

Magnetic deflection Thinking 2


 • γ -rays
  neutral
⇒ not deflected
• directions of α - & β -
particles predicted by
radioactive
source that Fleming's left hand rule
emits three
types of
radiation
radiation α -particles have short range
β - particle deflected more → experiment done in a
than α -particlelead
as its mass vacuum
is smaller
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 36
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 17)

Background radiation and


penetrating power
Expt 18C scaler
Background
radiation and
penetrating
power of
radiation

measure
background radiation
GM tube

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 37


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 18)

Background radiation and


penetrating power
scaler
study
penetrating power
stopping
material
ability to pass through
certain material without
being absorbed

GM tube radioactive
source
Thinking 3
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 38
18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 18)

Comparison of penetrating power

Penetrating power

α β γ
Stronger Strongest
Weakest

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 39


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 18)

Comparison of penetrating power

Because…

α β γ
• strong ionizing • much weaker • high frequency
power → ionizing power EM wave
loses KE → loses KE →possesses
readily at highest energy
→ absorbed by lower rate • extremely weak
air quickly ionizing power (it
loses KE at the
lowest rate)

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 40


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 18)

Comparison of penetrating power

Stopping material
α β γ
A sheet of paper A sheet of • cannot be
aluminium with absorbed
thickness 5 mm completely
• 20 mm thick
lead plate
absorb half of
them

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 41


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 19)

Comparison of penetrating power

-particle
(the weakest)
-
particle
-radiation
(the strongest)

5 mm
paper aluminium sheet thick lead plate

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 42


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 19)

Class Practice 3:
A student uses a GM counter to determine the type(s) of
radiation emitted by a radioactive source in the laboratory. He
inserts different materials between the source and the GM
tube. The table below summarizes the results. The
background radiation is taken into account.

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 43


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 19)

Class Practice 3: (Cont)


Distance between radioactive Material inserted Counter reading
source and GM tube (counts / min)
3 cm nil 520
10 cm nil 300
20 cm 3 mm aluminium 100
sheet

20 cm 3 mm aluminium 100
sheet and 20mm
lead plate

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 44


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 19)

Class Practice 3: (Cont)

From the above data, we can conclude that the source


αAns
emits __________________
and β radiation(s).
wer
Explain briefly.
When the radioactive source is moved
3 cm to 10 cm away from the GM tube, there is a
significant drop in reading. This shows the presence of
α -radiation which has a short range in air. When the
aluminium sheet is inserted, the reading drops further which
indicates the presence of β -radiation. When
the lead plate is inserted further, the reading
does not change which indicates there
is no γ -radiation.

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 45


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 20)

Example 3:
A beam of γ -rays is produced. Suppose the intensity at 1 m
from the source is 16 units.
(a) Estimate the intensity of the γ -rays after they have
travelled a distance of 2 m.
(b) Then a lead plate of thickness 60 mm is inserted, what is
the intensity of the radiation after passing through the plate
sheet? Solut
ion
(a) As the intensity of γ -rays obeys the inverse square law, the
16
intensity after the rays have travelled 2 m is 2 = 4 units.
2
Solut
ion

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 46


18.2 α , β and γ radiations (SB p. 20)

Example 3: (Cont)
(b) Recall the fact that 20 mm lead plate can absorb half of the
γ -rays. The following diagram shows the absorption of γ -rays
by
the 60 mm lead plate.

Hence, the final intensity is 0.5 units.


© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 47
To section 18.3

© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 48


14.4 Electric field (SB p. 21)

Thinking 1

Applying Fleming’s left hand rule


When applying Fleming’s left hand rule to find
out the direction of deflection of radiation,
should we take the travelling directions of α -
and β -rays as the direction of conventional
current? Ans
wer
Since α -ray carries positive charge, its direction
is same as the direction of conventional current.
However, for the β -ray, it carries negative
charge and its direction is opposite to the
direction of conventional current. Return to
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd.
Text 49
14.4 Electric field (SB p. 21)

Thinking 2

The figure shows the cloud-chamber tracks


of alpha particles which have been deflected
by a magnetic field. Deduce the direction of
the magnetic field by using the Fleming’s left
hand rule. (Note that the source is located at
the right hand side.)
Ans
The magnetic field iswer
pointing out of the page.

Return to
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd.
Text 50
14.4 Electric field (SB p. 21)

Thinking 3

Should we use lead to absorb beta


particles? Ans
Recall the nature of beta particles. wer
Lead is not used to stop high speed
beta particles because X-rays will be
emitted when beta particles strike on
a lead surface.

Return to

Text
© Manhattan Press (H.K.) Ltd. 51