7 Radioactivity and Particles – Part B “Radioactivity”

Syllabus Aims…

7.2 describe the structure of an atom in terms of protons, neutrons and electrons and use symbols such as C14  to describe particular nuclei

7.3 know the terms atomic (proton) number, mass (nucleon) number and isotope

7.4 know that alpha (a) particles, beta ( b-) particles and gamma (g) rays are ionising radiations emitted from unstable nuclei in a random process

7.5 describe the nature of alpha (a) particles, beta ( b-) particles and gamma (g) rays and recall that they may be distinguished in terms of penetrating power and ability to ionise

7.6 practical: investigate the penetration powers of different types of radiation using either radioactive sources or simulations.

7.7 describe the effects on the atomic and mass numbers of a nucleus of the emission of each of the four main types of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma and neutron radiation)

7.8 understand how to complete balanced nuclear equations in terms of mass and charge
know that photographic film or a Geiger–Müller detector can detect ionising radiations
explain the sources of background (ionising) radiation from Earth and space.

7.11 know that the activity of a radioactive source decreases over a period of time and is measured in becquerels

7.12 know the term ‘half-life’ and understand that it is different for different radioactive isotopes

7.13 use the concept of the half-life to carry out simple calculations on activity, including graphical methods.

7.14 describe the uses of radioactivity in industry and medicine

7.15 describe the difference between contamination and irradiation
describe the dangers of ionising radiations including

  • that radiation can cause mutations in living organisms
  • that radiation can damage cells and tissue
  • the problems arising in the disposal of radioactive waste and how the associated risks can be reduced.


Use this PowerPoint for a quick review…7B Radioactivity and Particles Lessons 1 to 5


Useful Videos…








Extension Ideas…

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