Radioactivity is nuclear instability of certain atoms, which is manifested in their ability to spontaneous transformation (disintegration), which is accompanied by the emission of ionizing emission or radiation.
Radiation, or ionizing emission, is particles and gamma-ray photons, whose energy is large enough to create ions of opposite signs when matter is subjected. Radiation cannot be caused by any chemical reaction.
There are several types of radiation:
- Alpha particles are helium nuclei. They are relatively heavy and positively charged particles.
- Beta particles are simple electrons.
- Gamma-ray emission has the same electromagnetic nature as visible light, but has much more penetrating power.
- Neutrons are electrically neutral particles that exist mainly in the vicinity of an operating nuclear reactor.
- X-rays is similar to gamma-ray emission, but it is less powerful. By the way, our Sun is one of the natural sources of X-rays, but the Earth’s atmosphere provides protection from it.
- Ultraviolet radiation is electromagnetic radiation, whose wavelength is shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays.
Charged particles interact very strongly with matter, therefore, on the one hand, even one alpha particle in contact with a living body can destroy or damage a lot of cells, but on the other hand, for the same reason, sufficient protection against alpha and beta radiation is any, even a very thin layer of a solid or liquid substance – for example, normal outerwear (if, of course, the radioactivity source is outside).
College students, who are to write their research paper on radioactivity, should distinguish between radioactivity and radiation. Radioactivity is the property of ionizing emission or electromagnetic radiation of certain materials. Sources of radiation can be radioactive materials or nuclear-technical installations (reactors, accelerators, X-ray equipment, etc.), and radiation is only the emission produce by those sources. The researchers have to explain in their research proposals the main principles of radioactivity and give a proper definition to this phenomenon. It is also important to show examples of how radioactivity is used in medicine (diagnostics, cancer therapy), archaeology and geology (isotopic dating), research and development.
To write a proper research paper on radioactivity, college and university students have to spend a considerable amount of time to investigate profoundly the subject. They will need to explore all the reliable sources of information on radiation they will be able to discover. In addition to that, it will also be necessary to handle all the discovered data to deduce a logical base for your research project. After that, the investigators have to present the results of their researches in a form of a clear and intelligible scientific text that complies with the rules of the correct research paper writing.
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