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CAMBRIDGE A – LEVEL PHYSICS

NUCLEAR PHYSICS

LEARNING OUTCOMES
NUMBER i ii iii iv v vi vii viii

LEARNING OUTCOME
Understand the structure of the atom. Learn the simple model of the modern atom. Understand the difference between the terms proton n u m b e r a n d n e u t r o n n u m b e r. Learn what are nuclides and how are nuclides represented. What are isotopes? Understand nuclear processes in terms of what is conserved. Learn what is meant by the term spontaneous and random, in terms of nuclear processes. Learn the characteristics and behaviour of α, β and γ radiation.

S T R U C T U R E O F T H E AT O M
• The discovery of the electron by J.J Thompson prompted him in 1898 to suggest the plum pudding model for the atom. • In this model, it was suggested that atoms consist of positively charged lumps of matter, with negatively charged electrons embedded in them.
Figure 4.1, page 120, Concepts of Modern Physics, Beiser, 6th edition, The McGrawHill Companies, New York, 2003,

S T R U C T U R E O F T H E AT O M
• In 1911, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden, under the advise of Ernest Rutherford, probed the atomic structure by performing the gold foil experiment. • In this experiment, a stream of α (alpha) particles was shot at a thin gold foil. The alpha particles are the nucleus of a Helium atom and have a charge of magnitude ൅2݁.

2. A tiny fraction were actually scattered backwards. the deflection of the alpha particles were expected to be less than 1°. • However. A large percentage of the α particles deviated at small angles (less than 1°). A small fraction of the alpha particles deviated at large angles. what was observed was: 1. 3.S T R U C T U R E O F T H E AT O M • If Thompson’s model was correct. .

jpg .org/mediawiki/images/4/43/Chapter_4_page_17.S T R U C T U R E O F T H E AT O M Source of image: http://wiki.chemeddl.

S T R U C T U R E O F T H E AT O M • Rutherford proposed that there must be a nucleus at the centre of the atom. The α particles that pass through the atom closer to the centre of the atom are either scattered at a large angle or scattered backwards. Majority of α particles pass through empty space and get deviated at a very small angle. • Evidence: 1. where the positive charges and mass are concentrated at. . The rest of the atom is just empty space. with electrons in it. 2.

org/mediawiki/images/7/7a/Chapter_4_page_18.S T R U C T U R E O F T H E AT O M Source of image: http://wiki.chemeddl.jpg .

• In addition to the protons. .SIMPLE MODEL OF THE N U C L E A R AT O M • The small concentrated positive charge at the centre of the atom is known as the nucleus. Collectively. and the positive charges that inhibit the nucleus are known as protons. there are also neutral neutrons that occupy the nucleus. the neutrons and protons are known as nucleons (inhabitants of the nucleons). • Negatively charged electrons orbit the nucleus.

. • For example. • The proton number is denoted by the symbol Z. This means that there are 12 protons in the nucleus of a carbon atom.PROTON NUMBE R • The proton number of an element gives the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom of the element. the proton number of the element carbon is 12.

NUC LEON NUMBE R • The nucleon number gives the total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of the element’s atom. • For example. • The nucleon number is given the symbol A. carbon has a nucleon number of 24. This means that the nucleus of the carbon atom has 12 neutrons in addition to the 12 protons. .

. and is the proton number.N U C L I D E R E P R E S E N TAT I O N • Nuclides are a particular species of an element with a specified number of protons and neutrons. where is the element’s symbol. is the nucleon number. ࡭ • Nuclides are represented as ࢆ .

San Francisco. page 1441. 2012. 13th edition. Sear’s and Zemansky’s University Physics.1. Young and Freedman.N U C L I D E R E P R E S E N TAT I O N • Table 43. . Pearson Education.

ISOTOPES • The isotope of an element is the nucleus of that element that has the same proton number but a different nucleon number. • This means that isotopes have the same number of protons but different number of neutrons. .

other elements like carbon and hydrogen also have different isotopes. • Besides oxygen. . • The diagram shows the three isotopes of oxygen.g. The proton number is the subscript while the nucleon number is superscript.ISOTOPES • E.

question 40.EXAMPLES Oct/Nov 2009. . Paper 11.

EXAMPLES Oct/Nov 2010. Paper 22. . question 7.

.EXAMPLES Oct/Nov 2010. question 7 (cont’d). Paper 22.

Oct/Nov 2008. Paper 1. Oct/Nov 2009. May/June 2009. 7. 5. . May/June 2008. Paper 1. question 36. 3. Paper 21. 2. Paper 1. question 38. 6. question 7. Oct/Nov 2009. May/June 2010. question 39. question 38. Paper 11. May/June 2009. Oct/Nov 2008. Paper 1. 4. 8. Paper 21.HOMEWORK 1. question 7. question 38. Paper 1. question 39.

.HOMEWORK 9. Oct/Nov 2010. Paper 11. question 38. Oct/Nov 2010. 11. 10. question 39. Oct/Nov 2010. Paper 12. Paper 12. question 38.

. which may be either stable or unstable.NUC LEA R DEC AY • Nuclear decay occurs when the unstable parent nuclei of radioactive elements emit particles and / or electromagnetic radiation. leaving daughter nuclei.

giving off an α – particle ( ଶ ) and gamma radiation.NUC LEA R DEC AY • In the reaction ૙ ૝ ૛ ૙ . ૛૜૝ ૢ૛ ૛૜૙ ૢ૙ . the parent nuclide uranium – 234 decays into the daughter nuclide thorium – ସ 230. • The daughter nucleus will next decay in series of steps to produce a stable nuclide.

II. . such as nuclear decay: I. mass – energy. the nucleon number. momentum are conserved.NUC LEA R DEC AY • In a nuclear reaction. III. and IV. the proton number.

nucleon number before reaction = nucleon number after reaction = 18. II. the ૚૝ ૠ ૝ ૛ . for example: I.NUC LEA R DEC AY • In reaction ૚ૠ ૚ ૡ ૚ . proton number before reaction = proton number after reaction = 9.

and ସ II.NUC LEA R DEC AY • In the ૙ reaction ൅ ૝ ૛ࡴࢋ ൅ ૙ࢽ. for example: I. is emitted. III. an ଶ‫ ݁ܪ‬alpha (α) particle is emitted. proton number and nucleon number is conserved. Some of the binding energy in the parent nuclide is released. a form of EM energy. ૛૜૝ ૛૜૙ ૢ૛ࢁ → ૢ૙ࢀࢎ . gamma (γ) radiation.

NUC LEA R DEC AY • Binding energy is the energy that is stored in the nuclide to bind the nucleons together. • A certain amount of this mass defect is converted into energy based on the mass – energy equivalence principle. . This effect is known as the mass defect. • Evidence of binding energy: The mass of the nucleus is more than the sum of the masses of all the nucleons.

૛૜૝ ૢ૚ ૛૜૝ ૢ૛ . γ – radiation and a ି particle (electron) are emitted.NUC LEA R DEC AY • In the reaction ૙ ૙ ି૚ ૙ . for example: I. proton number and nucleon number is conserved. and II.

there is a constant probability that the nucleus will decay in any fixed period of time. • It is random because we cannot predict which nucleus in a sample will decay. . • It is spontaneous because its occurrence is independent of any external or environmental factors. However.NUC LEA R DEC AY • Nuclear decay process is classified as a spontaneous and random process.

question 40. .EXAMPLES May/June 2008. Paper 1.

.EXAMPLES Oct/Nov 2008. question 40. Paper 1.

Paper 1. question 37.EXAMPLES May/June 2009. .

question 39.EXAMPLES May/June 2010. . Paper 11.

May/June 2010. question 7. Paper 11. Paper 11. Paper 11. Paper 22. 2. Paper 1. question 39. question 40. 5. May/June 2009. 3. 8. question 39. Oct/Nov 2009. . 4. Oct/Nov 2008. Paper 1. Oct/Nov 2010. May/June 2009. Oct/Nov 2009. May/June 2010. Paper 11. question 40. question 38. Paper 2. question 37. 6. 7. question 8.HOMEWORK 1.

Paper 11. question 38. Paper 11. Paper 21. question 40. question 7. 16. . Paper 23. question 39. 15. 14. 13. 10. Oct/Nov 2010. 12. May/June 2011. Paper 11. Paper 12.HOMEWORK 9. May/June 2011. question 9. question 40. Oct/Nov 2010. May/June 2011. May/June 2011. Paper 12. Paper 11. Oct/Nov 2010. 11. question 39. question 40. Oct/Nov 2010.

20. question 7. . Oct/Nov 2011. Paper 12.HOMEWORK 17. Oct/Nov 2011. question 40. Paper 12. question 40. May/June 2010. question 40. Paper 11. Paper 21. 19. 18. Oct/Nov 2011.

α (alpha) radiation. γ (gamma) radiation. and III. β.minus) radiation. • We will look at the properties and behaviour of these three radiation under the influence of magnetic and electric fields.B E H AV I O U R O F R A D I AT I O N • The three forms of radiation associated with nuclear decay are: I. II. .(beta .

B E H AV I O U R O F R A D I AT I O N .

.edu.catholic.B E H AV I O U R O F R A D I AT I O N Source : http://webs.au/physics/emery/assets/the_co17.mn.gif.

cyberphysics.uk/graphics/diagrams/radioactivity/electric_field_radiatio n. .co.B E H AV I O U R O F R A D I AT I O N Source: http://www.gif.

Paper 2.EXAMPLES May/June 2008. question 7. .

EXAMPLES May/June 2008. . question 7 (cont’d). Paper 2.

EXAMPLES May/June 2008. . question 7 (cont’d). Paper 2.

HOMEWORK 1. 6. question 37. question 7. question 6. Paper 23. 4. May/June 2010. 2. Paper 22. Oct/Nov 2011. 5. Oct/Nov 2011. May/June 2010. Paper 12. Paper 11. . 3. Oct/Nov 2011. Paper 22. Oct/Nov 2009. question 7. question 7. 8. Paper 23. question 39. Paper 11. question 8. question 39. May/June 2010. May/June 2009. 7. Paper 21.