Ionising Radiation
Quantum and Nuclear

Thinking about actions to take: Radiations that Ionise

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

  • dealing with the properties of ionising radiations before exploring their sources
  • linking the behaviour of nuclear radiations to the behaviour of radiations from other sources
  • exploiting the photon model to make the link between ionising and non-ionising radiations
  • using the introduction of detectors as an opportunity to reinforce the process of ionising
  • relating half-thickness and half-life
  • comparing risks from ionising radiations to risks from other sources

Teacher Tip: Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Teaching Approaches for some examples of activities.

Avoid these

  • treating ionising radiation as a completely isolated phenomenon
  • getting bogged down in the different measures of ionising radiations
  • not challenging gut-reaction reponses

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

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

Disable node explorer

Off
IOP 2022 Awards

Teachers of Physics Awards

Recognising and celebrating outstanding contributions to the field of physics education.

Learn more