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American Academy Larnaca

Year 5 Test
Double Science − Physics
Topic P2.11: Putting radiation to use
Topic P2.12: Power of the atom
Thursday 20 May 2010
Structured questions
Time: 20 minutes
You may find the following formulae useful.

displacement s
average velocity = v=
time t

change in velocity (v − u )
acceleration = a=
time t

force = mass × acceleration F=m×a

momentum = mass × velocity p=m×v

change in
= mass × gravitational field strength × change in height PE = m × g × h
potential energy

kinetic energy = ½ × mass × (velocity)2 KE = ½ × m v2

electrical energy = voltage × current × time E=V×I×t

work done W
power = P=
time taken t

work done = force × distance moved in the direction of the force W=F×s

SQ PAPER 1 Turn over


1. Phillipa works at a nuclear processing plant.

She helps to find suitable uses for radioactive isotopes

by examining data and calculating half-lives of different isotopes.

(a) Explain the terms

half-life: time for half of the {atoms / isotope / element / nuclei / radioactive substance} to decay
time for the activity to drop to half (of original value)
Reject: {ion(s) / atom / reactivity} to {decompose / die / lose {for / in} decay / halve in size}
[1 mark]

isotope: same {element / nuclei / atom / atoms / particles / ions / No of protons}

different {no of neutrons / mass number}
[1 mark]
(b) Phillipa has the following data which shows how the activity of plutonium-238 varies with time.

time (years) activity (Bq)

0 980
50 660
100 450
150 305
200 205
250 140

(i) Draw a graph of activity against time for plutonium-238.


activity 1000





0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350

time (years)

area > ¼ + min 3 labels & units + linear scales = 1 mark

at least 5 correct points = 1/2 mark (1/2 square tolerance on y-axis, no tolerance on x-axis)
smooth line = 1/2 mark

SQ PAPER 2 Turn over


(ii) Use your graph to calculate the half-life of plutonium-238.

87 – 93 years or ecf from graph

half-life = ………………………… years

[1 mark]

[Total for Q1: 5 marks]


2. Radioactive sources can be used to produce very small batteries that could be used to power a pacemaker.
A pacemaker is used to regulate the beating of a patient’s heart.
The pacemaker is placed inside the body of a patient.
Use the data from the table about different isotopes to answer the questions below.
All the isotopes emit beta radiation.

maximum energy emitted by

isotope half-life
each beta particle in MeV
Cobalt-60 2.82 5 years
Hydrogen-3 0.02 12 years
Nickel-63 0.07 100 years
Strontium-89 1.50 50 days

(a) State and explain which isotope will need the least shielding to protect the patient.

Isotope: Hydrogen-3
Reason: Lowest energy / only 0.02 MeV etc
Reject: use of radiation as alternative to energy
[1 mark]
(b) Give one reason why strontium-89 would not be suitable to power a pacemaker.

1. half life too short / only 50 days T1/2 / decays quickly / runs out quickly /
needs replacing / does not last long enough
2. high level of energy emitted / too much energy / need for shielding / {causes / risk of} harm (for patient)
Reject: use of radiation as alternative to energy
[1 mark] {7}

[Total for Q2: 2 marks] {7}


SQ PAPER 3 Turn over


3. Francine finds this information on the internet.

• Background radiation is ionising.

• 84% of the background radiation in the U.K. is
naturally occurring. This includes cosmic radiation.
• 16% of the background radiation comes from
artificial sources.

(a) What is meant by cosmic radiation?

ionising radiation / named ionising radiation / charged particles / high energy particles
from {the cosmos / space / sun / solar system / universe/ other galaxies}

“solar wind” = 1 mark

Reject: Any EM radiation except gamma / background microwave radiation
[1 mark] {8}

Francine is a flight attendant. She normally works on routes which go over the North Pole.
Francine has heard that cosmic radiation is a problem for people who fly a lot.
Francine does an Internet search and finds this graph.

flying time
in hours


flying over
Northern Europe
flying over the


6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

altitude in km
The graph shows how many hours you need to fly to get the same dose of cosmic radiation at different
altitudes over Northern Europe and over the Equator.

SQ PAPER 4 Turn over


(b) Explain why the cosmic radiation is more at greater altitude.

atmosphere absorbs radiation/ ORA / thinner air
Ignore: not closer to space
[1 mark]

(c) Explain why the flight time over the equator that produces the same dose of cosmic radiation is larger
than the flight time over Northern Europe.
{magnetosphere / (Earth’s) magnetic field} protects us / forms ‘barrier’ esp. over equator;
[1 mark]

[Total for Q3: 3 marks] {10}


4. In the nuclear reactor of a power station, neutrons hit uranium-235 nuclei.


(a) Describe what happens when a neutron hits a uranium-235 nucleus.

You may add to the diagram if this helps your answer.
Any 3 of: idea of metastable state / unstable / new U isotope
splits / undergoes fission / breaks up / breaks into
2 fission fragments / daughters / nuclei isotopes
additional / new / other neutron(s)
energy released
creates 2 daughters = 2 marks
Ignore: chain reactions / pieces / products / clusters
Reject: bald ‘breaks’ without the idea of splitting / reference to {atoms / cells}
[3 marks]

(b) Engineers lower control rods into the nuclear reactor to reduce its power output.
Explain how lowering the control rods, reduces the power output.

No of (free) n0s is reduced / idea of control rods {‘capturing’ / blocking / absorbing} n0s
prevention of ‘runaway’ chain reaction
Ignore: slow down / attract n0’s
[1 marks] {14}

SQ PAPER 5 Turn over


(c) A star, such as the Sun, generates its own energy by nuclear fusion.
Explain how this is different to nuclear fission.
State the conditions required for fusion.

description of fusion to include 2 or more {named / small / light} {elements / nuclei / ions / atoms}
+ join together / combine / form {heavier ‘atom’ / ion / nucleus / He} (1)

description of fission to include any TWO from:

– neutron collides with
– ‘heavy’ / high mass / named atom / nucleus / ion
– splits up / breaks apart
– forms 2 or more {smaller / lighter / daughter atoms / ions / nuclei} (1)

minimum of TWO conditions for fusion from (accept if mentioned in description part)
– high pressure
– very high temperature
– high particle density (1)
Ignore: particles / references to energy released / chain reactions / extra neutrons released
Reject: molecules / collide (without sticking)
[3 marks]

[Total for Q5: 7 marks] {17}


5. Rashpal has been studying static electricity.

(a) Which of these cannot be explained by static electricity? Tick the correct statements.

Can this be explained by static electricity? tick if no

fibre optic lights 

dust on TV screen

a shock from a car door

[1 mark] {18}

SQ PAPER 6 Turn over


(b) In 2002 Amit Lal invented a new form of ‘atomic’ battery.

The diagram below shows the main parts.

copper strip

inside box insulated beta source

(i) The source emits beta particles. A beta particle is an electron.

What happens to the sign of the charge of the insulated beta source as it emits beta particles?

(neutral source) becomes positive

Ignore: size of charge
Reject: Source goes negative to positive
[1 mark]

(ii) After a while the copper strip bends down towards the beta source, touches it and a small current
flows between them.
Explain why the copper strip bends towards the beta source.
Any TWO from: action at a distance i.e. attraction between strip and source
copper strip becomes negative
(source and strip) oppositely charged
one is positive the other is negative
[1 marks]

[Total for Q3: 3 marks]




SQ PAPER 7 Turn over



Strontium-89 decays by β– emission.

We get Strontium-89 as a result of the processes that take place in nuclear power stations.
Below we see part of the periodic table with the names and atomic numbers of some elements.

19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti

Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium

37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr

Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium

55Cs 56Ba 57La 58Ce

Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium

(a) (i) Complete the nuclear reaction below for the β–-decay of Strontium.

89 89 0
38 Sr → 39 X + −1β
[1 mark]

(ii) Use the periodic table to identify element X: Yttrium / Y / 39Y / Y-89 / Yttrium-89
[1 mark]

(iii) By considering the number of protons and neutrons in Strontium and X above
describe what happens in the Strontium nucleus during its β–-decay.

X (Yttrium) has 1 p+ more and 1 n0 less than Sr (or similar) (1)

1 n0 turns into a p+ and an e– / β particle (2)

[2 marks]

SQ PAPER 8 Turn over

A positron is a particle that has the same mass as an electron but with a positive charge.
It can be emitted by some unstable nuclei. We say these nuclei decay by β+ emission.
Fluorine-18 is one such element that decays by β+ emission.
(b) (i) Complete the nuclear reaction below for the β– decay of Strontium.

18 18 0
9F → 8Z + +1β
[1 mark]

7N 8O 9F 10Ne
Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon

15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar

Phosphorus Sulphur Chlorine Argon

(ii) Using the extract from the periodic table identify element Z: Oxygen / O / 8O / O-18 / Oxygen-18
[1 mark]
(iii) By considering the number of protons and neutrons in Fluorine and Z above
describe what happens in the Fluorine nucleus during its β+-decay.

O-18 / Oxygen / Z has 1 p+ less and 1 n0 more than F-18 (1)

1 p+ turns into a n0 and a positron / β+ particle

[2 marks]
(c) Fluorine-18 is used in PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography).
It is a method used to locate cancer cells in the body.
F-18 is attached to a sugar molecule and injected into the blood.
The patient is then scanned to find the radiation coming out of each part of the body.
(i) Cancer cells are more active and absorb more sugar than normal cells.
What level of radiation would you expect to get from cancer cells compared to normal cells?

Higher radiation level because cancer cells absorb more sugar molecules (or similar)

[1 mark]
(ii) F-18 has a half-life of about 2 hours.
Explain why this makes it ideal for the tomography scan described above.

(F-18 is taken in / injected etc)

so short T1/2 means short exposure after treatment (or similar)

[1 mark]

[Total for Bonus Question: 10 marks]