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
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