Radioactivity

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Radioactivity

  1. 1. Radioactivity - refers to the spontaneous emission of particles or high-energy electromagnetic radiation from the nuclei of unstable atoms. This occurs due to the disintegration of the atomic nuclei.
  2. 2. Discovery of Radioactivity In 1898 a French scientist, Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered the ability for uranium to create a picture when exposed to light. Later, the husband and wife team of Pierre and Marie Curie studied and coined the term 'radioactivity.'
  3. 3. Importance of Radioactivity Radioactivity has an importance mostly when it comes to medicine, but is important for science in general. In medicine, radiation is used as a way of finding tumors within the body and then it is used to destroy them. However, in the realm of science, radiation can also be used to determine the age of the earth as well as the universe, itself. Unfortunately, as much as radiation can be helpful, in large amounts, it can be harmful or deadly to all living matter.
  4. 4. Dangers of Radioactivity Radioactivity can damage cells; can cause burns, diarrhea, vomiting, infertility, migraine and death. A huge amount of radioactivity can destroy many cells that the body cannot replace immediately, because after being inhaled or ingested, the particles settle in certain organs and start damaging the neighbouring cells.
  5. 5. Advantages and Disadvantages of Radioactivity Radioactivity does have a medical advantage. It is used for treatment of cancer patients to reduce or deplete tumors. Another advantage is that it kills microbes and permits carbon dating to take place. A disadvantage of radioactivity is that using it as a medical treatment does make the reproductive organs sterile. Over-exposure does have negative affects on your health. A large dose that is experienced all at one time can be fatal and is usually only an issue in the event of an explosion.
  6. 6. Types of Radioactivity The types of radioactivity are alpha, beta, and gamma, which are classified according to the charge if the electromagnetic rays they give off. Alpha rays carry a positive charge, beta rays carry a negative one, and gamma rays are neutral.

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