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SS3: PHYSICS - 2ND TERM

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  1. Magnetic Field | Week 1
    4 Topics
  2. Electromagnetic Field
    4 Topics
  3. Electromagnetic Induction
    6 Topics
  4. The Transformer
    5 Topics
  5. Simple A.C Circuit
    4 Topics
  6. Models of the Atom
    2 Topics
  7. Radioactivity
    3 Topics
  8. Half Life
    8 Topics
  9. Energy Quantization
    3 Topics
  10. Photoelectric Effect
    4 Topics
  11. Wave Particle Paradox
    3 Topics



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Lesson 7, Topic 3
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Radioactive Decay

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This is a process where the nuclei of a radioactive element undergoes a series of disintegration to become stable

During decay process, the total mass number before and after decay must remain constant 

For alpha decay, the parent element loses a helium atom, where the mass number decreases by 4 and the atomic number by 2

\( \scriptsize _{A} ^{Z} \textrm {X}\; \rightarrow \; _{A – 4} ^{Z – 2} \textrm {X} \; + \; _{2} ^{4} \textrm {He} + energy\)

\( \scriptsize _{226} ^{86} \textrm {Ra}\; \rightarrow \; _{222} ^{84} \textrm {Ra} \; + \; _{2} ^{4} \textrm {He} + energy\)

For β -decay,

The atomic number of new element decreases by 1 while the mass number remains unchanged

\( \scriptsize _{A} ^{Z} \textrm {X}\; \rightarrow \; _{A } ^{Z + 1} \textrm {Y} \; + \; _{-1} ^{0} \textrm {β} + energy\)

\( \scriptsize _{235} ^{92} \textrm {U}\; \rightarrow \; _{235} ^{93} \textrm {U}\; + \; _{-1} ^{0} \textrm {β} + energy\)

For γ rays, no new element is produced; it is the energy state of the nuclide that changes

\( \scriptsize _{A} ^{Z} \textrm {X} \; \rightarrow \; _{A} ^{Z} \textrm {X} \; + \; energy \)

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