Main Points (CORE)


5. Atomic physics


(a) Detection of radioactivity

• Show awareness of the existence of background radiation

• Describe the detection of α-particles, β –particles and γ -rays (β + are not included: β -particles will be taken to refer to β –)


(b) Characteristics of the three kinds of emission

• State that radioactive emissions occur randomly over space and time

• State, for radioactive emissions:

– Their nature

– Their relative ionizing effects

– Their relative penetrating abilities

(c) Radioactive decay

• State the meaning of radioactive decay, using equations (involving words or symbols) to represent changes in the composition of the nucleus when particles are emitted

(d) Half-life

• Use the term half-life in simple calculations, which might involve information in tables or decay curves

(e) Safety precautions

• Describe how radioactive materials are handled, used and stored in a safe way



The nuclear atom

(a) Atomic model

• Describe the structure of an atom in terms of a nucleus and electrons

(b) Nucleus

• Describe the composition of the nucleus in terms of protons and neutrons

• Use the term proton number Z

• Use the term nucleon number A

Use the term nuclide and use the nuclide notation

(Cambridge IGCSE Physics ….Syllabus 2012)

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