In light of the nuclear tragedy in Japan, here are my top 10 uses for radiation that are not making electricity or blowing stuff up. They have high energy, typically in the MeV range, but due to their large mass, they are stopped by just a few inches of air, or a piece of paper. Many smoke detectors use americium-241, an alpha particle emitter, to detect smoke. The radiation sources used for these processes include radiation-producing machines and sealed-source radioactive materials, to name two. Hence, an alpha particle is identical to the nucleus of a helium atom, … Ionizing radiation is found in smoke detectors, used to disinfect medical instruments and blood, and to perform many other tasks in our daily lives. Write a public information leaflet about the uses of alpha, beta and gamma radiation in the home and the workplace. Scintillation counters can be used to detect alpha, beta, gamma radiation. Ionizing radiation can also exist in particle form, such as protons, neutrons, and alpha and beta particles. Alpha radiation: Alpha radiation consists of two protons and two neutrons; since they have no electrons, they carry a positive charge. Am-241 has a half-life of 460 years. Smoke from a fire absorbs alpha radiation altering the ionisation and triggering the alarm. Alpha particles are helium-4 (4He) nuclei. Radiation exposure can be expressed in certain units. Mass of Alpha Beta and Gamma Radiation. Within radiology, we find more specialized areas like mammography, computerized tomography (CT), and nuclear medicine (the specialty where radioactive material is usually injected into the patient). Uses of beta radiation. If smoke enters the alarm, this absorbs the a particles, the current reduces, and the alarm sounds. The broad area of x-ray use is called radiology. They can be used also for detection of neutrons. They are used as smoke detectors. The manufacture of aluminium foil (for cooking) is a good example. Alpha radiation can be stopped completely by a sheet of paper or by the thin surface layer of our skin (epidermis). Gamma rays have a range of uses, Gamma rays are used for killing things, for example in teletherapy they are used to kill cancer tissue by delivering a radiation dose to it. Doses of radiation. There are many uses of radiation in medicine. Alpha Radiation is unique when compared to other types of Brachytherapy, where sealed radiation seeds or micro capsules are placed inside or next to the tumor emitting Beta or Gamma Radiation. Ionisation is useful for smoke detectors. Security They are commonly used in space probes. Due to their size and charge, alpha particles are barely able to penetrate skin and can be stopped completely by a sheet of paper. The gamma rays from this source kill bacteria, mould, parasites and insects. They are also used in radiotherapy to treat cancer. Beta radiation consists of electrons. Radioactive americium releases alpha radiation, which ionises the air inside the detector. The most well known is using x rays to see whether bones are broken. An alpha-particle is identical to the nucleus of a normal (atomic mass four) helium atom i.e. Radiation Smoke from a fire absorbs alpha radiation, altering the ionisation and triggering the alarm. The alpha particle with high charge is relative to other forms of nuclear radiation and gives greater ionization power. They also inhibit germination and premature ripening in fruits and vegetables. Beta Particles. are used because these types of radiation readily pass out of the body, and they are less likely to be absorbed by cells than alpha radiation. Alpha Radiation. Alpha beta and gamma radiation bbc bitesize. Some characteristics of alpha radiation are: Most alpha radiation is not able to penetrate human skin. However, if alpha-emitting materials are taken into the body by breathing, eating, or drinking, they can expose internal tissues directly and may, therefore, cause biological damage. The eye is a very delicate part of the body, and that why lo energy electric rays are used in treatment. Although scientists have only known about radiation since the 1890s, they have developed a wide variety of uses for this natural force. Uses of Alpha Particles. The truth is there are many uses for radiation that are safe and beneficial outside of generating power or blowing stuff up with bombs. The best advantage of beta radiation when it comes to eye treatment is that ¾ of the rays are absorbed within the first 2mm. Alpha-emitting materials can be harmful to humans if the materials are inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through open wounds. Most often this is measured in grays (Gy). Alpha particles consist of two protons and two neutrons bound together into a particle identical to a helium nucleus. (Figure 1) Alpha particles are relatively large and carry a double positive charge. If smoke or heat enters the chamber, the electric current between the electrodes is interrupted and the alarm is triggered. Cancer treatment can be done using alpha or beta rays. Radiation therapy, a cancer treatment, relies on beta decay and uses its ionizing properties to kill cancer cells. For these purposes, different scintillators are used: Alpha Particles and Heavy Ions. Uses of alpha radiation. Alpha (α) radiation is just an alpha particle, consisting of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Alpha particles are emitted from here, which ionise the air, so that the air conducts electricity and a small current flows. Uses of Ionizing Radiation. The alpha radiation that leads to the emitting of alpha particles produces a significant amount of energy. The process by which an object is exposed to radiation is called irradiation. Our main exposure to ionizing radiation in manmade sources is through the use … Today, to benefit humankind, radiation is used in medicine, academics, and industry, as well as for generating electricity. As we’ve mentioned, alpha radiation is benign unless ingested, and there’s probably some being emitted inside your home. or gamma radiation. Alpha radiation consist of alpha particles, that are energetic nuclei of helium.The production of alpha particles is termed alpha decay. Alpha particles are commonly emitted by all of the heavy radioactive nuclei occuring in the nature (uranium, thorium or radium), as well as the transuranic elements (neptunium, plutonium or americium).. Alpha Particles. Alpha radiation is used in the hospital to treat various forms of cancer through a process called radiotherapy. But these typical Radiations only causes a single break in the DNA of the Cancer Cell, which allows some cells to recover over time. In nuclear reactors they are produced for example in the fuel (alpha decay of heavy nuclei). Alpha radiation is another name for the alpha particles emitted in the type of radioactive decay called alpha decay. Due to the very high ionizing power of heavy ions, scintillation counters are usually not ideal for the detection of heavy ions. There are three primary types of radiation: Alpha - these are fast moving helium atoms. The radioisotope Colbalt-60 is used as the source for gamma rays. Notice that it is charged (2 protons provides a 2+ charge), with no electrons to balance this out. Alpha particles (also termed alpha radiation or alpha rays) was the first nuclear radiation to be discovered, beta particles and gamma rays were identified soon after. Some beta particles are capable of penetrating the skin and causing damage such as skin burns. Learn about the different types of radiation in this physics video from the virtual school. Different forms of ionizing radiation have different uses. Beta radiation is used to treat eye and bone cancer. The thicker the substance the more the radiation is absorbed. They move incredibly fast, perhaps thousands of kilometres per second.. Gamma radiation is a sort of invisible, very high-energy light. This decay occurs through emission of different particles. The smoke detector uses a tiny bit of radioactive americium-241, a source of alpha radiation. Alpha particles are made of four nucleons. Emitters of beta radiation. An alpha particle is identical to the nucleus of a helium-4 atom, which consists of two protons and two neutrons. Other types, such as x-rays, can occur naturally or be machine-produced. Amercium-241 has a half life of 432 years and is a good source of alpha … Uses of alpha radiation. Gamma irradiation can be used to preserve foods. The absorbed dose is the amount of energy deposited per unit of mass. The amount of radiation which passes through a material can be detected and used to control the thickness of the material. Alpha Radiation Alpha radiation is a heavy, very short-range particle and is actually an ejected helium nucleus. For the moment we'll say that alpha and beta radiation consist of tiny particles, much smaller than an atom. a doubly ionised helium atom. They contain an ionisation chamber which consists of a positive and negative electrode along with a very small amount of the radioisotope Americium-241. Describe at least one example of use for ionising radiation and two examples to cover non-ionising radiation in the home and the workplace. These are alpha beta and gamma radiation. Scientists have also learned that radiation sources are naturally all around us. An air-filled space between two electrodes creates a chamber that permits a small, constant current to flow between the electrodes. There are many industrial uses of radioactive materials, including material density evaluation, product sterilization, quality control, static elimination, and electricity generation. Three types of radioation - Alpha, Beta, Gamma. A radioactive source is placed above the foil and a detector below it. Therefore, they have a mass of approximately , where .So, the mass of an alpha particle is 6.64×10-27 kg = 3.73 GeV/c 2.; Electrons and Positrons, which make up beta particles, are antiparticles of each other. Medical Uses. Industrial Uses. Alpha radiation also has use in the medical field, with targeted alpha therapy being used to kill cancer. Smoke detectors make use of the ionising properties of alpha particles. It is also a byproduct of nuclear power generation. 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