Ionising Radiation
Quantum and Nuclear

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: radiation sources

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How will you:

  • develop the model of the nuclear atom
  • maintain the connection between randomness for an individual nucleus and predictability over an ensemble
  • keep the atomic electrons out of the model
  • draw on existing understandings of energy to separate nuclear and atomic processes

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Focusing on the physics:

Representing–noticing–recording. How will you:

  • separate transmutations from annihilations
  • relate different representations of exponential decay
  • relate emissions to transmutations
  • explain why some nuclei are radioactive and some not

Teacher Tip: Connecting what is experienced with what is written and drawn is essential to making sense of the connections between the theoretical world of physics and the lived-in world of the children. Don't forget to exemplify this action.

Ionising Radiation
is used in analyses relating to Radioactive dating
can be analysed using the quantity Half-Life Decay Constant Activity
features in Medical Physics

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