Nuclear Radiation

Chapter 3
1. Atoms consist of electrons, protons, and neutrons.
2. Atoms of elements are distinguished by the
number of protons in the nucleus (the atomic
number).
3. Isotopes of an element have different numbers of
neutrons but the same number of p
+
and e
-
.
4. Isotopes of elements react identically (in most
chemical reactions).
5. Traditional chemical reactions focus primarily on
interactions in the outer valence electrons of
atoms.
Review:
• A nucleus with a specified number of protons and
neutrons is a nuclide.

E

A – mass number (number of p
+
+ number of n)
Z – atomic number

• Together, protons and neutrons are called
nucleons.
A
Z
Review of Nucleus
Nucleus: Particle Properties
 Protons, neutrons, and electrons are all fermions (spin 1/2).
 Protons and neutrons are “heavy” baryons (composed of 3
quarks).
[proton = up, up, down quarks and neutron = up, down, down]

Electrons are “light” leptons.
Particle Charge amu Spin µ
Proton +e 1.007276 1/2 +2.79µ
N
Neutron 0 1.008665 1/2 – 1.91µ
N
Electron –e 5.4858×10
-4
1/2 +1.00µ
B

The Nucleus
Let’s take a look at the nucleus, where the protons and
neutrons reside.

Breaking these apart can cause a large release of energy.
Protons
What is Radioactivity?

Elements that are RADIOACTIVE are
UNSTABLE because they have too many nucleons
or too much energy. In an attempt to become
STABLE, they give up particles or energy and this
is…….

RADIOACTIVITY
From Latin radioto (to radiate)
Radioactivity
C
12
6
Stable
C
13
6
Stable
C
14
6
Unstable
RADIOACTIVE
Radioactivity
C
14
6
Unstable
RADIOACTIVE
The nucleus of this atom is very
heavy because it contains two
extra NEUTRONS
In order to become stable it needs
to get rid of some excess weight
Radioactivity
Because this atom is
unstable a NEUTRON
begins to break down
Neutron
Breakdown
C
14
6
Unstable
RADIOACTIVE
Neutron Breakdown
Neutrons are made up of
positively and negatively
charged particles
C
14
6
Unstable
RADIOACTIVE
The positive part of the
NEUTRON is actually a
PROTON
The negative part of the NEUTRON
is called a BETA particle
An anti-neutrino is also released
Neutron Breakdown
C
14
6
Unstable
RADIOACTIVE
= Neutron breaking down
The Negative Beta
Particle is released
|
This energy is
RADIOACTIVE
Having released the | particle
the NEUTRON now becomes
a PROTON
An anti-neutrino is also released
Neutron Breakdown
C
14
6
Unstable
RADIOACTIVE
N
14
7
Stable
NITROGEN
Lose NEUTRON
Gain PROTON
Neutron Breakdown Is
 Just one way a element can become stable
 Accompanied by Beta emission
 And the conversion of a NEUTRON to a PROTON
 Carbon-14 is a BETA emitter


There are other ways that an element can obtain
stability and this results in different types of
RADIATION
Nuclear Chemistry Introduction
 Most chemical changes deal with the valence electrons
 Nuclear chemistry deals with changes in the nucleus, often
accompanied by the release of a large amount of energy
 Unstable nucleus spontaneously emits a particle or energy.
 Radiation comes from the nucleus of an atom.
 Radiation is energy in transit in the form of high speed
particles and electromagnetic waves
 Radiation cannot be tasted, felt, or smelt, but has the potential to do a
great deal of damage
 Radioactivity, or radioactive decay, is the spontaneous change of the
nuclei of certain atoms, accompanied by the emission of subatomic
particles and/or high-frequency electromagnetic radiation.
 There are five principal particles or waves of radiation we will learn
about:
 Alpha (o or
4
He
2+
)
 Beta (|
÷
or e
-
)
 Positron (|
+
)
 Gamma (¸)
 Neutrons (n)
Summary Of Decay Types
¸
e
e
symbol particle He
0
1
0
1 -
particle in neutrons and protons
particle in
(NOT Charge here!)
protons
4
2
+
=
Main Types Of Radioactive Decay
• An alpha (o) particle has the same composition as a
helium nucleus (
4
2
He): two protons and two neutrons.
• Beta (|
÷
) particles are electrons (
-1
0
e).
• Gamma (¸) rays are a highly penetrating form of
electromagnetic radiation (
0
0
¸).
• Positrons are particles having the same mass as
electrons but carrying a charge of 1+ (
+1
0
e). A positron
and an electron can annihilate each other upon colliding,
producing energy as photons:

-1
0
e +
+1
0
e ÷÷÷ 2
0
0
¸
• Other forms of radioactive decay:
• Proton emission
• Neutron emission
• Electron capture (EC) is a process in which the nucleus
absorbs an electron from an inner electron shell, usually
the first or second, thus converting a proton into a neutron,
along with the release of an X-ray.
Radioactivity: Historical Overview
 1896: Becquerel accidentally discovered that uranyl crystals
emitted invisible radiation onto a photographic plate.
 1898: Marie and Pierre Curie discovered polonium (Z=84) and
radium (Z = 88), two new radioactive elements.
 1903: Becquerel and the Curie’s received the Nobel prize in
physics for radioactive studies.
 1911: Marie Curie received a 2
nd
Nobel prize (in chemistry) for
discovery of polonium and radium.
 1938: Hahn (1944 Nobel prize) and Strassmann discovered
nuclear fission - Lisa Meitner played a key role!
 1938: Enrico Fermi received the Nobel prize in physics for
producing new radioactive elements via neutron irradiation, and
work with nuclear reactions.

Three Main Types of Radiation
Radioactivity
• All elements have at least one radioactive
isotope.
• All isotopes with atomic number greater than
83 are radioactive.
• Artificial and Natural sources exist.
• Radioactive isotopes have same chemical
properties as non-radioactive isotopes.
Stable and Unstable Nuclei
Everyday Radiation Exposure
Alpha ( ) Particles
 Symbol:
2
4
He or o; Equivalent to the Helium Atom
 It is composed of 2 protons, 2 neutrons, has a mass of 4 amus and a charge of
2
+

 Since they are so large they can cause great damage if they strike
tissue.
 But, they cannot travel very far because of their weight and they’re low
energy
 Travel 3-4 inches in air and can be blocked by a sheet of paper
 Cannot penetrate the epidermal layer of the skin
 More of an internal hazard than an external hazard
 Once ingested they are usually within 3-4 inches of a vital organ
4
inches
Emission of Alpha Particle
3-4 inches
Because Alpha particles are so
large, they are the most damaging.
The probability of them coming
into contact with other particles is
great
Beta ( ) Particles
 Symbol:
-1
0
e or |; A high energy electron
 Can be either positively or negatively charged
 Usually given off when a neutron is converted to a
proton or when protons convert to neutrons.
 Very small and can travel up to 100 feet in air
 Can penetrate the skin
 Can be stopped by a thin piece of metal or 2-3
inches of wood
 Since they are so small the likelihood of them
striking biological tissue is much less than an Alpha
particle.
100
Feet
If particle
strikes
damage
will occur
Particle may pass through without
touching any matter
A neutron in the nucleus breaks down
1 1 0
n  H + e
0 1 -1
Gamma ( ) Particles and X-Rays
 For all practical purposes Gamma and X-rays are identical.
 Gamma particles are produced by atomic disintegration
 X-rays are produced by machines and Electron Capture
 Both are pure energy and travel at the speed of light 3 x 10
8
m/s
 Can travel great distances without striking other particles.
 If collision takes place, damage will occur
 Because it is electromagnetic radiation, it is deeply penetrating
 Takes several feet of concrete or many inches of lead to stop them
 It has no mass or charge  Very high energy
 There are very few pure gamma emitters, although gamma radiation
accompanies most o and | decay
 In radiology one of the most commonly used gamma emitters is Tc

43
99m
Tc →
43
99
Tc + ¸
 A gamma decay will have no change in the atomic number or atomic
mass
Much energy will
pass through without
any effect on
biological matter
Some energy may cause ionization
Neutron Radiation
 Symbol:
0
1
n
 It has a mass of one, no protons, and no charge
 Very rare but very lethal
 Generated in the explosion of nuclear
weapons
Neutron Bombs
 Since this type of radiation is so specialized it
is not usually discussed in lectures such as
this
Types of nuclear radiation
Radiation
Type of
Radiation
Mass
(AMU)
Charge Shielding material
Alpha
Particle 4 2 Paper, skin, clothes
Beta
Particle 1/1836 ±1 Plastic, glass, light metals
Gamma
Electromag
-netic Wave 0 0
Dense metal, concrete,
Earth
Neutrons
Particle 1 0 Water, concrete
From: http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/properties.htm
Nuclear Physics
General Rules:
1) o emitted to reduce mass, only emitted if mass
number above 209
2) |
÷
emitted to change neutron into proton,
happens when have too many neutrons
3) |
+
emitted (or electron capture) to change
proton into neutron, happens when have too few
neutrons
4) ¸ emitted to conserve energy in reaction, may
accompany o or |.
5) Neutrons and protons emitted due to
bombardment…
Bombardment Reaction
 Bombardment reaction-bombarding 2 stable atoms together,
creating a radioisotope

 All of the known elements whose atomic number is greater
than 92 were created from bombardment reactions
Nuclear Equations
Basic principle in writing a nuclear equation :
charge, mass number, and atomic number must be
conserved in a nuclear reaction.

The two sides of a nuclear equation must have the same
totals of atomic numbers and mass numbers.
Balancing Nuclear Eqns: reactants’ and products’

Atomic numbers must balance
and
Mass numbers must balance
Alpha decay
Beta decay

234
Th ÷
234
Pa +
0
e
90 91 ÷1

beta particle
Gamma radiation
No change in atomic or mass number


11
B
11
B +
0
¸

5 5 0
boron atom in a
high-energy state
Learning Check NR1
Write the nuclear equation for the
beta emitter Co-60.

Solution NR1
Write the nuclear equation for the
Beta emitter Co-60.


60
Co
60
Ni +
0
e

27 28 -1

Producing Radioactive Isotopes
Bombardment of atoms produces radioisotopes
= 60 = 60

59
Co +
1
n
56
Mn +
4
H

e

27 0 25 2
= 27 = 27
cobalt neutron manganese alpha
atom radioisotope particle
Learning Check NR2
What radioactive isotope is produced in the
following bombardment of boron?


10
B +
4
He ? +
1
n

5 2 0

Solution NR2
What radioactive isotope is produced in the
following bombardment of boron?


10
B +
4
He
13
N +
1
n

5 2 7 0
nitrogen
radioisotope
Half-Life of a Radioisotope
The time for the radiation level to fall (decay) to
one-half its initial value

decay curve






8 mg 4 mg 2 mg 1 mg

initial
1
half-life
2
3
Half–Life (t
1/2
)
 The half-life (t
1/2
) of a radioactive nuclide is the time
required for one-half the nuclei in a sample of the nuclide to
decay.
 The shorter the half-life t
1/2
, the larger the value of ì (decay
constant) and the faster the decay proceeds.
 The time required for one-half of the unstable nuclei to decay. (t
1/2
)
A
0
A = --------
2
n


A
0
= original amount
n = number of elapsed half lives

 1 half life 1/2 original amount left (50%)
2 half lives 1/4 original amount left (25%)
3 half lives 1/8 original amount left (13%)
4 half lives 1/16 original amount left (6.3%)
Selected Nuclide Half-lives
Learning Check NR3
The half life of I-123 is 13 hr. How
much of a 64 mg sample of I-123 is
left after 26 hours?
Solution NR3
t
1/2
=

13 hrs
26 hours = 2 x t
1/2

Amount initial = 64mg
Amount remaining = 64 mg x ½ x ½
= 16 mg

Radiocarbon Dating
 Carbon-14 is formed at a nearly constant rate in the upper
atmosphere by the bombardment of nitrogen-14 with
neutrons from cosmic radiation. The carbon-14 is eventually
incorporated into atmospheric carbon dioxide.
 Carbon-14 in living matter decays by |¯ emissions at a rate
of about 15 disintegrations per minute per gram of carbon.
 When the organism dies, no more carbon-14 is integrated
into the system.
 Ratio of
14
C to
12
C tells how long the item has been dead.
 The half-life for carbon-14 is 5,730 years.
 This dating method works well if an object is between 5,000
and 50,000 years old.
Radiocarbon Dating
Radioactive C-14 is formed in the upper atmosphere
by nuclear reactions initiated by neutrons in cosmic
radiation
14
N +
1
o
n --->
14
C +
1
H
The C-14 is oxidized to CO
2
, which circulates through
the biosphere.
When a plant dies, the C-14 is not replenished.
But the C-14 continues to decay with t
1/2
= 5730 years.
Activity of a sample can be used to date the sample.
NUCLEAR vs. CHEMCIAL REACTIONS
Nuclear reactions Chemical reactions

1. Atomic numbers may change 1. Atomic numbers do not change

2. Isotopes of an element have 2. Isotopes of a given element
different properties behave almost identically.

3. There is a small but significant 3. There is no significant change
mass change; matter is in the total quantity of matter
converted to energy. in the reaction

4. Individual atoms are usually 4. Mole quantities are usually
used in calculations used in calculations.
Summary
 The five types of radioactive nuclides involve emission of
alpha (o) particles, beta (|) particles, gamma (¸) rays,
positrons, and electron capture.
 All known nuclides with Z > 83 are radioactive, and many
of them occur naturally as member of four radioactive
decay series.
 In the formation of an atomic nucleus from its protons and
neutrons, a quantity of mass is converted into energy.
Synthetic Nuclides
 For centuries, alchemists tried - without success - to change one
element into another – alchemy – turn lead into gold.
 The process of changing one element into another is called
transmutation.
 Modern scientists have learned to do this.
 Rutherford, in 1919, was able to convert nitrogen-14 into oxygen-17
plus some extra protons by bombarding the nitrogen atoms with o
particles. This is a naturally occurring isotope of oxygen and is not
radioactive.

14
7
N +
4
2
He 
17
8
O +
1
1
H
 Phosphorous-30 was the first synthetic radioactive nuclide.
 Since its discovery, scientists have synthesized over a thousand others.
Transuranium Elements
In 1940, the first of the transuranium elements - elements
with a Z > 92 - was synthesized by bombarding uranium-
238 nuclei with neutrons. This first element is plutonium.


238
92
U +
1
0
n 
239
92
U


239
92
U 
239
93
Np +
0
-1
e


239
93
Np 
239
94
Pu +
0
-1
e
Nuclear Stability
 About 160 stable nuclides have an even number of protons
and an even number of neutrons.
 About 50 stable nuclides have an even number of protons
and an odd number neutrons.
 About 50 stable nuclides have an odd number of protons
and an even number neutrons
 Only four stable nuclides have an odd number of protons
and an odd number of neutrons.
 The magic numbers of protons or neutrons for nuclear
stability are 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126.
Stability of
Nuclides
All the stable nuclides
lie within the belt of
stability (as do some
radioactive ones).
Nuclides outside the
belt are radioactive.
Their modes of
radioactive decay are
indicated.
Energetics Of Nuclear
Reactions
 While working out the details of the theory of special
relativity, Einstein derived the equation for the equivalence
of mass and energy: E = mc
2
.
 In a typical spontaneous nuclear reaction, a small quantity
of matter is transformed into a corresponding quantity of
energy.
 Nuclear energies are normally expressed in the unit MeV
(megaelectronvolt).
 1 u = 931.5 MeV : one atomic mass unit contains energy
equivalent to 931.5 megaelectronvolts.
1 amu = 1 u
Nuclear Binding Energy
 The energy released in forming a nucleus from its protons
and neutrons is called the nuclear binding energy and is
expressed as a positive quantity.
 Alternatively, nuclear binding energy is the quantity of
energy necessary to separate a nucleus into individual
protons and neutrons.
 This explains why there is a mass loss of 0.0304 u in the
formation of a helium nucleus from the two protons and two
neutrons which comprise it. This quantity is called the mass
defect of the nucleus.
Nuclear Binding Energy For
Helium
Average Binding Energies
Nuclear Fission
Fission
large nuclei break up


235
U +
1
n
139
Ba +
94
Kr + 3
1
n +

92 0 56 36 0


Energy
Fission
Nuclear Fusion
Fusion
small nuclei combine


2
H +
3
H
4
He +
1
n +

1 1 2 0

Occurs in the sun and other stars
Energy
Learning Check NR4
Indicate if each of the following are
(1) Fission or (2) Fusion or both:

A. Nucleus splits
B. Large amounts of energy released
C. Small nuclei form larger nuclei
D. Hydrogen nuclei react

Energy
Solution NR4
Indicate if each of the following are
(1) Fission (2) fusion

A. 1 Nucleus splits
B. 1 + 2 Large amounts of energy released
C. 2 Small nuclei form larger nuclei
D. 2 Hydrogen nuclei react

Geiger Counter
 Used to detect radioactive
substances
Exposure vs. Contamination
Exposure
Contamination
Exposure
 Your body has been subjected to
some type of radiation:
 Alpha
 Beta
 Gamma
 X-ray
 Neutrons
 The amount of damage done
depends on the type of radiation
received, the amount of time
exposed, and the amount of
radiation.
•It does cause damage to your body
•Exposure to radiation does not make
you radioactive

Contamination
 Radioactive material has attached itself to you body
 Internally
 Externally
 You are also exposed as long as you are contaminated
 You are “a source”of radioactivity to others

Factors to Reduce Exposure
 Time
• Distance
• Shielding
Time
 If you decrease the time exposed to a given isotope you
will decrease the dose of that exposure
 If an isotopes gives off 1 Rad/hour in .5 hours you
receive .5 Rads
Distance
 Inverse Square Law
 If you double the distance between you and a
radioactive source you reduce the amount of
exposure by ¼
 Mathematically
 I=I
o
/R
2
• I=Intensity at Distance R
• I
o
=Original Intensity
• R=Distance from Source

Application of Inverse Square
Law
At a distance of one foot from a
14
C source you receive an
exposure dose of 1 RAD. What would be your exposure if
you moved 10 feet from the source?
I=I
o
/R
2
I=1RAD/10
2
I=1RAD/100
I=.01 RAD

By increasing the distance
10 times you decrease the
dose 100 fold
Shielding
(Barrier between you and the source)
 Type needed depends on type of radiation
produced
 Alpha
 Air
 Paper
 Beta
 Metal
 Wood
 Plexiglass
 Gamma
 Concrete
 Lead
Penetrating Power
Alpha particles are most ionizing, but
have the least penetrating power.
Skin is adequate protection.
Beta particles are more penetrating
but can be shielded with paper or
thin foil.
Gamma radiation is the most
penetrating. A lead barrier is
needed for protection from them.
Types of Radiation
 Non-Ionizing
 Ionizing

Non-Ionizing Radiation
 Waves of energy that do not have the
strength to break chemical bonds or
alter the arrangement of atoms
 Lasers
 Microwaves
 Ultraviolet Light
Ionizing Radiation
 Energy is strong enough to break or
alter chemical bonds
Sources of Ionization
 Alpha, beta and gamma rays from
radioactive materials
 Cosmic rays and the solar wind (lots of
protons and neutrons)
 Any charged particles with high energy
passing through materials can strip electrons
from atoms
Ionization & Biology
 The ionization can disrupt the structure of
crystals in solids
 Can rip up proteins and other tissue molecules
 Tends to be bad news for living things
Since ionizing radiations often start as charged
particles with energies in MeV range and
electron binding is in eV range, one incoming
particle can create lots of problems
Neutron Radiation Ionization
 Neutrons cause ionization indirectly
They primarily interact with nuclei and cause
nuclear reactions
These reactions change the identity of the
atoms and thus the chemistry, disrupting
important molecules
So, similar kinds of damage to tissue
Radiation & Biology
 If individual protein molecules are damaged, most
cells have plenty of protein and can recover
 However, too much radiation can destroy too
much protein and kill the cell
 Worse, may change DNA and wreak all kinds of
havoc
Now you can start producing defective cells
Radiation & Biology
 Radiation is classified as somatic or genetic
 Somatic damage kills cells and can affect the
functioning of systems
 Genetic damage is that affecting the
reproductive system and can result in
defective offspring
All radiation carries risk of damage!
Measure Radiation Amounts
 We want to deal with measuring the amount of
radiation received by a biological system
 Just like medications, we refer to the dose
 Start with the radiation source
 How many particles (disintegrations) per
second does the source emit?
 Historical measure is the Curie
Amount & Energy of Radiation
Amount of Radiation (Activity):
Curie (Ci) = 3.7 x 10
10
dps
Becquerel (Bq) = 1 dps = 2.8 x 10
-11
Ci
Energy of Radiation:
Roentgen (R) = 2.1 x 10
9
charges/cm
3

= 2.58 x 10
-4
coulomb/kg
Radiation Dosages
Dose (Amount + Energy)

rad = radiation absorbed dose – absorbed
radiation energy per kg of material
(also called gray (Gy) = 100 rad)

rem = radiation equivalent man
(also called sievert (Sv) = 100 rem)

Activity
 The “radioactive strength” of an isotope
 Measured in units called Curies (Ci)
 One Curie = 3.7 x 10
10
disintegrations/sec
 Relatively speaking a Ci is a large unit so we usually
deal in fractions of a Ci
 Millicurie (mCi) = 0.001 Ci OR Microcurie (µCi) =
0.000001 Ci
 This is the strength of 1 gram of Radium
 Many now use a new unit, the Becquerel which is
one disintegration per second
 Manufacturers specify the activity of a radioactive
source at the time of manufacture
 Of course, we need to know the half-life to calculate
present strength
Absorbed Energy Amounts?
 We need to be concerned with how much energy is
actually being absorbed by a target
 There has been a historical progression of units used to
measure the effect of radiation
 The first was the Roentgen
 One Roentgen produces 1.6 x 10
12
ion pairs in dry air at
room temperature
 The modern unit is the rad which is the amount of
radiation which deposits energy at a rate of 10
-2
J/kg in
any absorbing material.
 The RAD is the measure of absorbed radiation energy in
any type of material
 A new SI unit is the gray which is 100 rad
Biological Effect of Absorbed Radiation?
 Finally, we need to ask if there is any difference in tissue
damage between the various possible types of radiation
 The answer is that there is a BIG difference, so we had
better take that into account as well
 Alpha rays cause 10 to 20 times more damage than beta
rays
 Since they are fat and move slowly, they confine their
damage to a smaller area and cause greater disruption in a
single location
RBE
 We account for these differences by figuring out the
relative biological effectiveness or quality factor
of the radiation
The quality factors vary from one to twenty depending
on type of radiation and energy of the particles
Radiation Type RBE (Relative
Biological
Effectiveness)
X-rays 1
Gamma (¸) rays 1
Beta (|) rays 1
Thermal (Slow) Neutrons
1
n
3
Fast Neutrons
1
n and Protons
1
p
Up to 10
Alpha (o) particles and heavy ions
Up to 20
Measurement of Dosage: the REM
 The REM (Roentgen Equivalent Man)
Unit used to measure the effect that radiation
(the number of RAD’s) will have on human
tissue.
This is done by applying a correction or “quality
factor” (RBE == relative biological effectiveness)
to the RAD based on the type of particle the
material emits
rem = rad x rbe
 This is known as the effective dose
 The latest SI unit for this is the Sievert which is
gray x quality factor or 100 rem
Units of Radiation dose
rad = radiation - absorbed dose
the quantity of energy absorbed per kilogram of
tissue 1 rad = 1 x 10
-2
J / kg

rem = roentgen equivalent for man, the unit of radiation
dose for a human:

1 rem = 1 rad x RBE

RBE = Relative Biological Effectiveness
RBE = 10 for o
RBE = 1 for x-rays, ¸ -rays, and |’s
Sample Dosage Problem
A man working in a nuclear power plant has received an
accidental exposure. The particular isotope that he was
working with emitted 30 RADS of gamma radiation, and
3 RADS of fast neutron radiation. What was the
worker’s total dose equivalent it REMS?
REM = RAD x Quality Factor
30 RAD’s gamma x1 = 30 REM
3 RAD’s fast neutron x 10 = 30 REM
TOTAL DOSE = 60 REM
Maximum Permissible Dose
Occupational Workers in mRem
Type of Exposure Yearly Exposure
Whole Body 5000
Lens of the Eye 15000
Hands and Feet
50000
Pregnant Women 500 (Dose to Fetus)
Minors 10% of Adult Dose
Non-Occupational Worker in mRem
100 mRem any body part
Radiation Rates and Radiation
Amounts
Note that Activity (in Bq or Ci) is a rate. It tells how
fast something is decaying with respect to time.

Note that Exposure (in roentgens), Absorption (in
rads or Grays), and Effective doses (in rems or
Sieverts) are all amounts. They do not tell how
fast this is occurring with respect to time.
Radioactive Events are Random
Unpredictable
Collision with
biological tissue
Passes harmlessly
through body
Biological Effects of Radiation on
Living Tissue
 Somatic Effects
Non-stochastic (immediate)
Skin burns
Ulcers
Loss of hair
Blood changes
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Stochastic (delayed)
Formation of cancers and cataracts
Biological Effects of Radiation
on Living Tissue
 Genetic Effects
Causes damage to chromosomes
Causes mutations in future generations
May take many years to determine
• Examples: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl
 Teratogenic Effects
Damage to developing fetus or embryo
Dosages Required for Certain
Immediate Effects
 0-100 REM’s
 Survival certain
 No obvious symptoms
 Maybe some clinical signs if lab tests are done
 100-200 REM’s
 Survival probable
 Begins signs of light radiation sickness
 Nausea
 Vomiting
 Listlessness
 200-1000 REM’s
 Survival questionable. Some will survive, some won’t.
 Severe radiation sickness
 Radiation burns
 Over 1000 REM’s
 Survival impossible
Natural or Background Radiation
 We are all being exposed daily to a variety of radiation
 We receive about 100 mREM/year from background
 The average non-occupational worker receives about
200 mREM/year of chronic radiation exposure
 Present at all times as a result of radiation naturally
present in the environment
Cosmic rays
Uranium, thorium and radon in soil]
Building materials
 We receive an additional 100 mREM/year from
Medical and dental x-rays
Smoke detectors
Dials on watches, etc.
 Differs depending on geographical location
Sources of Background Radiation
54%
8%
11%
11%
3%
1%
4%
8%
Other
Radon
Medical X-rays
External
Terrestrial
Cosmic
Nuclear Medicine
Consumer Products
Radioactivity: Summary of Units
 Activity: Becquerel (Bq) = 1 decay / s
1 curie (Ci) = 3.7×10
10
decays / s (or Bq)
(disintegration rate of 1g of radium)
 Ion Dose: Ionizing behavior of radiation is most damaging to
us!
Roentgen = 2.6×10
–4
C/ kg
air
(or 0.0084 j/kg)
 Energy Dose: rad = 0.01 j/kg
 Energy Dose for Human Health Considerations:
rem = # rads × RBE
 Dosages: 0.5 rem / yr = natural background
5 rem / yr = limit for nuclear power plant workers
500 rem = 50% die within a month
750 rem = fatal dose (5000 rem = die within 1 week)
Radiation Exposure
 Standard medical x-ray dosage is about 0.04 rem
 Recommended maximum annual dosage is 0.5
rem per year from all sources
 Occupational limits are 5 rem/year
These folks have to constantly monitor with film
badges or pocket dosimeters to limit exposure to
prescribed levels
Radiation Exposure
 1000 rems are fatal
 400 rems and half die
 400 rems over an extended time you will
probably live, but not be in good shape
 Most hard data from Japanese exposed at the
end of WW II
 Some data from Chernobyl accident
Effects of Radiation
Applications in Nuclear Medicine
 Imaging
 Gamma or positron emitting isotopes

99m
Tc,
111
In,
18
F,
11
C,
64
Cu
 Visualization of a biological process
 Cancer, myocardial perfusion agents

 Therapy
 Particle emitters
 Alpha, beta, conversion/auger electrons

188
Re,
166
Ho,
89
Sr,
90
Y,
212
Bi,
225
Ac,
131
I
 Treatment of disease
 Cancer, restenosis, hyperthyroidism
Nuclear Medicine: Imaging
consumption of Na
131
I
Source: Visuals Unlimited
Normal Thyroid An Enlarged Thyroid
Radiation Therapy
 Radiation is used to deal with cancer and also
for diagnostics (imaging)
 Rapidly growing cells hurt more by radiation
(same as chemotherapy exploits)
Cells that divide quickly are:
Cancerous cells
Hair follicles (loss of hair)
Digestive tract epithelial cells (nausea)
 Try to localize radiation to the tumor
Radiation Therapy Methods
The goal is to minimize damage to
surrounding tissue by limiting
exposure.
Can achieve the same goal by
implanting “seeds” directly into
tumors.
Used for prostate cancers. Use body’s
natural processes for other cancers.
Iodine concentrates in thyroid, so
inject hot “iodine.”
Latest Cancer Research
 Carbon nanotubules (nanotechnology) attached
to folate molecules, which are only found on
most cancerous cells
 Sent into cancerous cells using this process
 Near-infrared light radiation is then used to kill
the cells
 The nanotubules heat up and kill them
 Later, might attach nanotubules to antibodies to
target specific cancer cells
Tracer Studies
 Tag molecules and introduce to the body and
then watch natural processes occur
 You can monitor for the presence of the
radiation to see where it goes
 Label a chemical with technetium-99 with 6
hour half life. Want to look at an organ? Pick
a molecule that heads there and tag it with Tc-
99
Often done for bone scans to look for cancer
Emission Tomography
 Again, inject radioactive substance
 Positron emission tomography is interesting
tomo = slice or section; graphy = writing or imaging
 Use a positive beta emitter to tag a molecule
 The positron annihilates with an electron to form
two gamma rays
 Detect the gammas on an imaging basis as in CT
scans
Emission Tomography
Coincidence of signal detection establishes
the originating location.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
 Protons have an intrinsic angular momentum called
spin
 You can think about this for the time being as the
proton is like a little planet that rotates on its axis.
 Since the proton has charge, this means we have a
rotating charge
 We can consider the rotating charge to be a tiny
current
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
 We learned that a current going in a loop
generates a little magnetic field.
 When we place the loop in an external
magnetic field, the magnetic field in the loop
tends to line up with the external magnetic field
 You can convince yourself by considering the
forces on the charges in the current as they
circulate in the loop
Nuclear Magnetic Moment
 Long story short, the axis of spin of the proton
wants to line up with the magnetic field that we
apply externally
 The proton’s energy is lowest when the proton’s
magnetic field points in the same direction as the
external magnetic field
 It is higher when it points in the opposite
direction
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
The proton’s energy level splits into two states depending
on whether its spin is up or down. This is just like the
Zeeman effect for electrons. The energy difference
between these states corresponds to hf such that the
frequency is about 40 MHz if the field strength is 1T. The
energy is proportional to the field strength.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
If the magnetic field is modified by the presence of other
things like electrons in the neighborhood, then the
frequency will be slightly different. By measuring the
frequency of energy absorption by the protons we can
deduce its electron environment.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
This environment will depend on the chemical
composition of the neighborhood. The changing
frequency in different chemical environments is called the
chemical shift. Chemists use this idea to study the
structure of molecules.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
For our purposes, we want to form images, so we need to sense the
chemical shifts as a function of position in the body. Since different
body structures have different chemical environments, we can map the
structures by mapping the chemical shifts. This is MRI.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
To get position information, we apply a magnetic field
with a gradient (change in intensity from one location to
another. Then we can carefully determine position.
Low Level Effects of
Radiation
The effects of low level radiation are
hard to determine.
There are no directly measurable biological
effects at the background level.
Long term effects of radiation may include
heightened risk of cancer, but many
different things have been related to long
term heightened risk of cancer.
Separating out the different effects and
accounting for the different amounts of
low level radiation make this very difficult
to determine.
Low Level Effects of Radiation
At the cellular level, a dose of 100 millirems of
ionizing radiation gives on average 1
"hit" on a cell. (So the background radiation gives
about 2 hits per year to each cell.)
There are five possible reactions to a “hit”.
1. A "hit" on a cell can cause DNA damage that
leads to cancer later in life.
Note: There are other causes of DNA damage,
a relatively large amount from normal
chemical reactions in metabolism.
Low Level Effects of
Radiation
2. The body may be stimulated to
produce de-toxifying agents,
reducing the damage done by the
chemical reactions of metabolism.
3. The body may be stimulated to
initiate damage repair
mechanisms.
Low Level Effects of
Radiation
4. The cells may kill themselves (and
remove the cancer risk) by a process
called apoptosis, or programmed
cell death (a regular process that
happens when the cell determines that
things are not right).
5. The body may be stimulated to
provide an immune response that
entails actively searching for
defective cells - whether the
damage was done by the radiation
or by other means.
Low Level Effects of Radiation
There are two main theories:
1. Linear Hypothesis: A single radiation “hit”
may induce a cancer. Therefore, the best
amount of radiation is zero, and any radiation
is dangerous. The more radiation, the more
the danger.
This says effect #1 is always more important
than effects 2-5.
Low Level Effects of
Radiation
2. Hormesis Hypothesis: A small
amount of radiation is actually
good, but a large amount of
radiation is certainly bad.
Many chemicals behave this way - for
example B vitamins: we need some to
live, but too much is toxic. Vaccines are
also this way: we make ourselves a little
sick to build up our defenses against
major illnesses.
This theory says that at low levels, effects
2-5 are more important than effect 1.
Radiation Treatments
If high doses of radiation do bad things to
biological systems, can radiation be used as
a treatment?
Ask yourself this: does a knife do harm to biological
systems? If if does, why do surgeons use scalpels?
Fast growing cancer cells are more susceptible
to damage from radiation than normal cells.
For cancer treatment, localized (not whole-
body) doses regularly exceed 10,000,000
mrems.
Food
Irradiation
•Food can be irradiated with ¸ rays from
60
Co or
137
Cs.
•Irradiated milk has a shelf life of 3 mo.
without refrigeration.
•USDA has approved irradiation of meats
and eggs.

Measurement of
Radioactivity
Devices
Film badges
photographic film exposed to
radiation
Geiger Counter
number of disintegrations
Scintillation counter
large number of samples in lab

Where does chemical
energy come from?
 If chemicals are bound, then breaking the bonds does not release energy. It
requires external energy. This energy can come from the formation of stronger
bonds between the atoms, such as when you burn some sort of fuel. The fuel
bonds break, but stronger bonds are formed with oxygen for a net release of
energy. It can also come from the thermal energy of its surroundings, such as
when you break the ionic bonds in salt by dissolving it in water
 Those are sources of net energy change, however. At the site of the bond
itself, this energy comes from the electromagnetic force (although there is
some KE of the electrons in addition to the electrical PE). The charges
(electrons and the nuclei) in chemicals are not perfectly evenly distributed,
causing net electrostatic fields.
 When bonds are broken or formed, this motion of charges in the fields (which
exert a force on the charges) either absorbs or releases energy because the
charges are being pulled or pushed by the electric fields of all the other charges
present. If you want to think of it as an exchange of something, think of it as an
exchange of photons (leave virtual photons out of this, that's for much faster
processes involved in particle physics), which carry the electromagnetic force.
How about nuclear energy source?
 The nucleus has its own forces, AND the electromagnetic force. Typical nuclear reactions
are dictated by the strong force, which holds the nucleus together. The weak nuclear force
predominantly causes beta decays.
 But the queston is about the force between the parts of a nucleus, what holds it together,
and that is the strong force. The exact form of the strong nuclear force is still a mystery.
We have what we believe to be relatively exact models for the other 3 forces
(electromagnetism, the weak force, and gravitation), although there's some debate about
the extent of the knowledge we have about those. But the exact nature of the strong
nuclear force remains unknown. It results from the exchange of a zoo of virtual particles
(gluons and mesons), and it depends on too many things (such as the spins of the protons
and neutrons which are bound together in the nucleus) to go into here. But it's just another
force like gravitation and electromagnetism. The reason you don't feel it personally is that
it's very short-range, it essentiall ends at the boundaries of the nucleus itself.
Electromagnetic forces (like what holds magnets on your refrigerator) and gravitation are
long-range, so we're more familiar with them because they do operate on objects which
are of lengths that we can see and touch.
 So, just like gravity pulls a rock towards the center of the Earth and makes it take energy
to roll uphill (or pick up energy as it rolls downhill), adding nucleons (protons and neutrons)
to or removing them from a nucleus requires energy. Think of the nucleus as a pit into
which nucleons fall, pulled down by a strange type of gravity that suddenly gets really
strong right next to and inside the hole. Now if you add a nucleon to a nucleus, it will
generally just scatter unless there's some way to convert this strong force into energy that
can be released. This can be in several forms, such as photons (gamma-rays are photons
emmited by such processes which have very high energies) or other particles with high
energies (say a proton fuses with a nucleus and a neutron is ejected). If the incoming
nucleon has enough energy, that energy can be converted into new (generally unstable)
particles. The nucleus is a complex place, so there's no single answer to that aspect of
your question.
Final Nuclear Notes
 Mostly the energy released is in the form of kinetic energy of the
products of the reaction. For example, in the proton-proton chain that
powers the sun:
 proton + proton -> deuteron + positron + neutrino + KE of products
 The mass of the deuteron + positron + neutrino is less than the mass of
the two protons; this excess mass was converted to energy, in the form
of kinetic energy of the deuteron, positron, and neutrino.
 Usually, if there is electromagnetic radiation involved, it is listed explicitly
(as a gamma ray), as in the next step in that chain:
 proton + deuteron -> helium-3 + gamma + KE of products
 So you get both electromagnetic radiation (the gamma ray) and energy,
in the form of kinetic energy of the helium-3 nucleus and the gamma ray.
 Similarly, in fission reactions, the excess energy is in the form of kinetic
energy of the nuclear fragments.
 In the following figure, this energy is referred to as "heat energy";
however, heat energy on an atomic scale is just kinetic energy

Measuring Health
Effects
Gamma rays (high energy photons) are very
penetrating, and so generally spread out
their ionizations (damage).
Beta rays (high speed electrons) are less
penetrating, and so their ionizations are
more concentrated.
Alphas (high speed helium nuclei) do not
penetrate very far since their two positive
charges interact strongly with the
electrons of the atoms in the material
through which they go.
Measuring Health Effects
This difference in penetrating ability (and
localization of ionization) leads us to
create an RBE (radiation biological
equivalent) factor and a new unit: the
rem. The more localized the ionization,
the higher the RBE.
# of rems = RBE * # of rads . This is
called an EFFECTIVE dose.
RBE for gammas = 1; RBE for betas = 1 to
2; RBE for alphas = 10 to 20.
Levels of Radiation
and Health Effects
In addition to our own radioactivity (and our
food), we receive radiation from:
a) space in the form of gamma rays; the
atmosphere does filter out a lot, but not
all;
b) the ground, since the ground has
uranium and thorium;
c) the air, since one of the decay products
of uranium is radon, a noble gas. If the
Uranium is near the surface, the radon
will percolate up and enter the air.
Nuclear Physics
size of atoms: take water (H
2
O)
density = 1 gm/cc,
atomic weight = 18 gm/mole, (alternately, get
mass of one molecule from mass spectrograph)
Avogadro’s number = 6 x 10
23
/mole
(1 cm
3
/gm)*(18 gm/mole) / (6x10
23
molecules/mole)
= 3 x 10
-23
cm
3
/molecule, so
d
atom
= V
1/3
= 3 x 10
-8
cm = 3 x 10
-10
m.
Mass Defect & Binding
Energy
By definition, mass of
6
C
12
is 12.00000 amu.
The mass of a proton (plus electron) is 1.00782
amu. (The mass of a proton by itself is 1.00728 amu,
and the mass of an electron is 0.00055 amu.)
The mass of a neutron is 1.008665 amu.
Note that 6*m
proton+e
+ 6*m
neutron
> m
C-12
.
Where did the missing mass go to?

Mass Defect & Binding
Energy
Similar question: The energy of the
electron in the hydrogen atom is -
13.6 eV. Where did the 13.6 eV
(amount from zero) go to in the
hydrogen atom?
Answer: In the hydrogen atom, this
energy (called the binding energy)
was emitted when the electron “fell
down” into its stable orbit around
the proton.
Mass Defect & Binding
Energy
Similarly, the missing mass was converted into
energy (E=mc
2
) and emitted when the
carbon-12 atom was made from the six
protons and six neutrons:
Am = 6*m
proton
+ 6*m
neutron
- m
C-12
=
6(1.00782 amu) + 6(1.008665 amu) - 12.00000 amu
= .099 amu; BE = Am*c
2
=
(0.099 amu)*(1.66x10
-27
kg/amu)*(3x10
8
m/s)
2

= 1.478x10
-11
J*(1 eV/1.6x10
-19
J) = 92.37 MeV
Mass Defect & Binding
Energy
For Carbon-12 we have:
BE = Am*c
2
= 92.37 MeV
If we consider the binding energy per
nucleon, we have for carbon-12:
BE/nucleon = 92.37 MeV /12 = 7.70
MeV/nucleon.

The largest BE/nucleon happens for
the stable isotopes of iron (about
8.8 MeV/nucleon).
Mass Defect and Binding
Energy
Be careful: The fact that isotopes of iron have the
highest binding energy per nucleon is NOT related to
iron being a hard metal. The fact of being a metal is
determined by the ELECTRONIC shells, NOT the
nuclear binding.

Note: Chemical binding energies (ionization energies)
are on the order of several eV. Nuclear binding
energies are on the order of several MeV. Nuclear
energies are thus an order of a million times
stronger than electrical binding energies!
Plot of energy versus
the separation distance
Nucleus: Particle Potential Wells
 Electron is only bound with negative total energy, and can never escape.
 Nucleon can be bound with positive total energy, and can escape by
tunneling through the Coulomb barrier ÷ nuclear decay processes.
 Leads to radioactive processes.
Electron Coulombic Potential Nucleon Nuclear Potential
E
n
e
r
g
y

Radius r
Radiation Processes: |

Decay (e

Emission)
 Parent nucleus decays to daughter nucleus plus electron and
anti-neutrino.
 Anti-neutrino is 3rd particle that explains range of electron kinetic
energies.
 If atom (Z) has greater mass than its right neighbor (Z+1), then
|

decay is possible.
 Free neutron can decay into a proton.

 t
1/2
= 10.8 min, Q = 939.57 – (938.28 + 0.511) = 0.78 MeV
( ) ( )
2
1
1
*electron mass included in daughter nucleus

( )
A A
Z
A A
Z Z
Z
X D
Q MeV Ma
e v
ss X Mass D c
+
÷
+
÷ + +
(
= ÷
¸ ¸
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – A new and
Important Tool in Imaging Research
In the technique of positron Tomography, a positron emitting isotope
Is included into a molecule that is incorporated into a chemical reaction.

The positron emitted during the decay of the isotope will analite with an
Electron and emit two 511 kev gamma rays that can then be detected,
and the location of the decaying isotope isolated accurately.

B
+
+ e
-
Energy Two Gamma rays at 180
o

e
-
+ B
+

511 kev
511 kev
Common Positron emitting Isotopes:
15
O, T
1/2
= 122s ;
18
F, T
1/2
= 1.83 hr


11
C, T
1/2
= 20.3 min ,
13
N, T
1/2
= 9.97 min , ETC
The two gamma
rays come away
at 180
o
.
Positron Emission Tomograph
The Tomograph is an
instrument that is a ring
of gamma ray detectors
that react very fast to
gamma rays, and by
measuring the time each
detector receives the signal
one can locate the point of
origin of the gamma ray to a precision of + 1 cm in a
human being or any other physical object, with out
any in vivo investigation. The detectors must have a
capability of measuring up to + 250 ps per pulse.
_
_
Four Known Forces
 Two familiar kinds of interactions:
 gravity (masses attract one another) and
electromagnetism (same-sign charges repel, opposite-
sign charges attract)
 What causes radioactive decays of nuclei ?
 Must be a force weak enough to allow most atoms to
be stable.
 What binds protons together into nuclei ?
 Must be a force strong enough to overcome repulsion
due to protons’ electric charge
Previously, we peered inside the atom
 We recalled that electrons orbit
the atom’s massive nucleus and
determine an element’s chemical
behavior.
 We explored the proton and
neutron content of nuclei and the
phenomena of radioactivity,
fission, and fusion they make
possible.
Today we’ll look inside
the nucleons
themselves.
 Fundamental particles in the
Standard Model are:
 Leptons
 Quarks
 Intermediate Gauge Bosons
Anti-matter
 Each kind of elementary particle has a counterpart
with the same mass, but the opposite electric charge,
called its “anti-particle”.
 Electron: m= .0005 GeV, charge = +1, symbol e
-

 Positron: m = .0005 GeV, charge = -1, symbol e
+
 The anti-particle has a bar over its symbol:
 Anti-proton is written , anti-neutrino is
 Anti-matter is rare in the explored universe
 It’s created in cosmic rays and particle accelerators
and some radioactive decays.
 When a particle and its anti-particle collide, they
“annihilate” one another in a flash of energy.

p

v
Where do the elements come from?
Stability diagram
Heavy elements can fission
into lighter elements.
Light elements can undergo
fusion into heavier elements.
Elements from helium to iron were
manufactured in the cores of stars by fusion.
Heavier elements are metastable and were
made during supernovae explosions.
Fission: Chain Reaction
 Use neutrons from fission process to initiate other
fissions!
 1942: Fermi achieved first self-sustaining chain
reaction.

 For nuclear bomb, need
more than one neutron
from first fission event
causing a second event.
 For nuclear power plant,
need less than one
neutron causing a second
event.

Chain reaction
For reaction to be self-sustaining, must have
CRITICAL MASS.
Figure 21.11: Upon capturing a neutron, the
235
U nucleus undergoes fission to produce two
lighter nuclides, free neutrons (typically three),
and a large amount of energy.
Figure 21.12: Representation of a fission
process in which each event produces two
neutrons, which can go on to split other
nuclei, leading to a self-sustaining chain
reaction.
Figure 21.13: If the mass of the fissionable
material is too small, most of the neutrons
escape before causing another fission event;
thus the process dies out.
Nuclear reactors
Fusion
 Light nuclei are more stable when
combined
 Tremendous energy released
 Hydrogen bombs and Fusion
power?
Schematic diagram of a cyclotron
Physicist works with a small cyclotron at
the University of California at Berkeley.
Source: Corbis
CERN, the
world's largest
particle
accelerator,
lies at the foot
of the Jura
Mountains
near Geneva,
Switzerland.
Diagram of a linear accelerator
Accelerator
tunnel at
Fermilab, a
high-energy
particle
accelerator in
Batavia, Illinois.
Source: Fermilab Batavia, IL
Units used for Nuclear Energy Calculations
electron volt - (ev)
The energy an electron acquires when it moves through
a potential difference of one volt:

1 ev = 1.602 x 10
-19
J

Binding energies are commonly expressed in units
of megaelectron volts (Mev)

1 Mev = 10
6
ev = 1.602 x 10
-13
J

A particularly useful factor converts a given mass defect
in atomic mass units to its energy equivalent in electron
volts:
1 amu = 931.5 x 10
6
ev = 931.5 Mev

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