Radioactivity Quiz

Are you radioactive?

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What is Radioactivity?

Radioactivity is the energy and particles which are released from unstable atomic nuclei. These nuclei are often isotopes of heavy elements, meaning that they have large nuclei with lots of subatomic particles inside. These unstable isotopes often decay into other elements and the half-life is the term given to the amount of time it takes half of a sample to decay. As an example Radium decays into Radon.

Radiation can be measured at a background level all over the world. We call this background radiation

What does Ionising mean?

The term ionising refers to radiation that has the capacity to ionise other atoms. Ionisation is the process by which atoms gain or lose electrons. Alpha particles which consist of a helium nucleus, having two protons and two neutrons are sometimes emitted from unstable atomic nuclei. These alpha particles have a charge of +2 which is a big difference from neutral atoms. This difference in charge allows alpha particles to strip away electrons from nearby atoms, the atoms then become ions and have been ionised.

Which Particles can be Emitted from Unstable Atomic Nuclei?

There are a bunch of different particles with varying properties that can be released. These are; alpha particles, beta particles (electrons), positrons (antimatter particles opposite to electrons with +1 charge) as well as neutrons. Gamma radiation which is high-frequency electromagnetic waves can also be released.

How can Radioactivity be Useful to Humans?

We harness radioactivity using nuclear fission and one-day nuclear fusion in order to generate electricity for use in homes, businesses and industries. 

If you enjoyed this quiz you should check out our other quizzes on the Electromagnetic Spectrum and also the Dangers of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. Also, consider checking out our quiz on atomic models to learn more about how our understanding of atomic structure developed over time.