GCSE Questions: Radioactivity

Q14. Alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays are types of nuclear radiation.

(a) Describe the structure of an alpha particle.

[1 mark]

(b) Nuclear radiation can change atoms into ions by the process of ionisation.

(i) Tick which of the following types of nuclear radiation is the least ionising?


alpha particles  
beta particles  
gamma rays  

[1 mark]

(ii) What happens to the structure of an atom when the atom is ionised?

[1 mark]

(c) People working with sources of nuclear radiation risk damaging their health.

State one precaution these people should take to reduce the risk to their health.

[1 mark]

(d) The type of radiation emitted from a radioactive source can be identified by comparing the properties of the radiation to the properties of alpha, beta and gamma radiation.

Describe the properties of alpha, beta and gamma radiation in terms of their:

penetration through materials

range in air and

deflection in a magnetic field.

[6 marks]

(Total 10 marks)