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HSC Physics

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  1. Module 1: Kinematics
    1.1 Motion in a Straight Line
  2. 1.2 Motion on a Plane
  3. Module 2: Dynamics
    2.1 Forces
  4. 2.2 Forces, Acceleration and Energy
  5. 2.3 Momentum, Energy and Simple Systems
  6. Module 3: Waves and Thermodynamics
    3.1 Wave Properties
  7. 3.2 Wave Behaviour
  8. 3.3 Sound Waves
  9. 3.4 Ray Model of Light
  10. 3.5 Thermodynamics
  11. Module 4: Electricity and Magnetism
    4.1 Electrostatics
  12. 4.2 Electric Circuits
  13. 4.3 Magnetism
  14. Module 5: Advanced Mechanics
    5.1 Projectile Motion
  15. 5.2 Circular Motion
  16. 5.3 Motion in Gravitational Fields
    2 Topics
  17. Module 6: Electromagnetism
    6.1 Charged Particles, Conductors and Electric and Magnetic Fields
  18. 6.2 The Motor Effect
    1 Topic
  19. 6.3 Electromagnetic Induction
  20. 6.4 Applications of the Motor Effect
    1 Topic
  21. Module 7: The Nature of Light
    7.1 Electromagnetic Spectrum
    3 Topics
  22. 7.2 Light: Wave Model
  23. 7.3 Light: Quantum Model
    2 Topics
  24. 7.4 Light and Special Relativity
  25. Module 8: From the Universe to the Atom
    8.1 Origins of the Elements
    5 Topics
  26. 8.2 Structure of the Atom
    3 Topics
  27. 8.3 Quantum Mechanical Nature of the Atom
    2 Topics
  28. 8.4 Properties of the Nucleus
    2 Topics
  29. 8.5 Deep Inside the Atom
    4 Topics
Lesson 28, Topic 1
In Progress

Nuclear Decay

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Rules for nuclear equations

  1. Conservation of charge – Sum of atomic numbers must be equal for both sides.
  2. Conservation of mass number – Sum of mass numbers must be equal for both sides.

Particles of Nuclear Reactions

ParticleAtomic NumberMass NumberSymbol
Alpha particle24_2^4He
Anti-neutrino00\overline\nu
Beta particle (electron)-10_{-1}^0e
Deuteron (deuterium nucleus)12_1^2H
Gamma ray00\gamma
Neutron01_0^1n
Neutrino00\nu
Positron10_{+1}^0e
Proton11_1^1H

Types of Decay

AlphaBeta MinusGamma
^A_Z \text X \rightarrow ^{A-4}_{Z-2} \text X + ^4_2 \text{He}

Emits alpha particle
^A_Z \text X \rightarrow ^{\space \space \space \space \space A}_{Z+1} \text X + {}^{\space \space \space 0}_{-1} e \space + ^0_0 \overline{\nu}

Emits electron* and antineutrino**
^A_Z X^* \rightarrow {}^A_ZX + \gamma

Emits gamma ray
A few cm of air
Absorption
Around 1m of air
Absorption
Many cm of lead
Absorption
Strong
Ionising Power
Medium
Ionising Power
Weak
Ionising Power

To conserve mass-energy, the mass deficit transforms to kinetic energy in expelled particles.

A Note on Beta Decay

*An electron is emitted in beta minus decay, while an anti-electron (positron) is emitted in beta plus decay.

**In beta minus decay, a neutrino is emitted.

  • β decay = neutron transforming into a proton
  • β+ decay = proton transforming into a neutron