This is the main Radiation post. Start here!

Thanks to Miss Horn for the Radiation Notes. Worked Answers to follow.

From Helpmyphysics


Fusion is the process when two SMALL NUCLEI join to form a LARGER NUCLEI with the production of ENERGY


Fission is the process when two large nuclei split to form two smaller nuclei with the production of energy. This can occur spontaneously or due to a collision with a neutron. Often extra neutrons are produced.

Chain Reaction

When neutrons split nuclei by fission and extra neutrons are produced which can split further nuclei. Large quantities of energy are produced.

Reducing exposure to ionising radiation.

There are 3 groups of category to reduce harm caused by radiation:


Monitor includes things like wearing radiation badges or EPUs, timing how long you are exposed to radiation, checking with radiation counters any contamination on clothes.

Shielding is placing layers of absorbers between you and the source, BEWARE, goggles and a lab coat are great at protecting against alpha but have no effect on gamma. Only thick layers of lead would offer protection against gamma.

Distance. Radiation obeys the inverse square law, as you double the distance from a source the level you are exposed to decreases by ¼ . Using tongs is an effective method of keeping your distance from a source.

When it goes wrong

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster 1986- Effects and Summary

Chernobyl Surviving Disaster (BBC Drama Documentary)

Chernobyl Questions
  1. What date was the Chernobyl Disaster?
  2. What was the name of the man who hanged himself at the start, who was narrating the story?
  3. Which reactor blew?
  4. What was the cause of the accident?
  5. How many people went to see what had happened?
  6. What happened to the people who saw the hole in the reactor?
  7. What day of the week was the disaster?
  8. What town was evacuated?
  9. How did they drain the water from the reactor?
  10. How did they put out the fire?
  11. What was the reading on the counter when they measured the radiation levels?
  12. Why was this reading misleading and wrong?
  13. What was the real count when it was measured correctly?
  14. What were some of the symptoms of radiation poisoning?
  15. Who was sent to prison for crimes to do with the disaster? (or record how many people went to jail)
  16. Who was president of the USSR when the disaster occurred?
  17. What was the trigger that caused the man to hang himself?
  18. What is the “elephant’s foot?” in the reactor?
  19. Have there been any other nuclear disasters? Can you find out about them and name them?
  20. What other things did you learn about nuclear power stations and radioactivity?
updated June 2019

Radiation 2

Here are some videos and powerpoint shows that I’ve made for the NPA but the outcomes are the same as those in N5 Physics. Thanks to John Sharkey for the use of the Virtual Flash Physics (Int 2) and to Julian Hamm of furryelephant for the animations of ionising an atom.


With thanks to Julian Hamm www.furryelephant.com
After watching the video can you mix and match the effects of the radiation.
There are a few booboo’s such as given below and I say we put a beta particle instead of a beta source in the cloud chamber! But as I’ve already spent a day on this I had better move on!

NB In the video above I know totally that photographs were taken well before 1896, the first being taken in 1826. Henri Becquerel discovered that Uranium, a naturally radioactive element fogs photographic film.

June 2020

Protactinium Half Life Experiment

Using John Sharkey’s Virtual Animations I complete the Half Life of Protactinium 234. The sound needs to be turned down after the first 60 s

This is the draft copy of the Half Life Experiment until I can take out all the noise. I might redo it a third time!

The first one is from the Flash Animations

Using John Sharkey’s Physics Animations
Using John Sharkey’s Flash Learning Virtual Int 2

This one below is from the Int 2 Virtual Physics. No sound, but a few notifications for Teams!

June 2020

Revision Questions

Thanks to those in North Ayrshire who provided these excellent questions for you to get your teeth into. I’ll post the answers as password protected to protect those students and staff who are given these for homework! They’re in the old order, so you’ll have to search through for the right section.


UnitsSummary NotesProblems
Dynamics & SpaceSummary Notes D&SQuestions D&S pdf
Problems D&S doc
Electricity & EnergySummary Notes E&EQuestions E&E pdf
Problems E&E doc
Waves & RadiationSummary Notes W&RQuestions W&R pdf
Problems W&R doc