Characteristics Of Nuclear Radiation

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Radiation is energy which is given off by matter in form of rays or high speed particles (james, 2014). There are many types of nuclear radiations and emissions. The most common rays or nuclear radiation are alpha, beta and gamma rays. The nuclear radiation originates from the nucleus of the atom (Anon., 2014). The substances who give off these rays of radiation are known to be radioactive, similar to alpha, beta and gamma rays. Characteristics of the three major type’s nuclear radiations are as followed:
Type of radiation/ symbol Alpha
Beta
Gamma

Nuclear symbol (_2^4)He (_-1^0)e

Formation/ structure/ Relative mass/ electric charge A helium nucleus incorporates 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Relative mass is equivalent to 4.
Is released at high speed from the nucleus. Charge on the particle is -1. Mass, 1/1850 (Brown, 2013)
High kinetic energy positive electron. Mass and charge on the particle is 0.
Very high frequency electromagnetic radiation.
Penetrating power/ speed Low penetration power. Slowest of the three 1/10 of speed of light, although has bigger mass and charge out of the three radiations. Can be stopped by a thin sheet of paper or few cm of air. Moderate penetration, is in the middle considering charge and mass out of the three, and Are lighter than alpha particles although greater ability to penetrate other materials, Can penetrate skin but can be blocked through a thin sheet of metal, plastic or wood. (Brown, 2013)
Very high penetration
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