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AP Physics

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Two radioactive isotopes are extracted from spent nuclear fuel and placed in a metal container, which is then
sealed and deposited in a nuclear waste disposal facility. The graph above shows how many nuclei of isotopes
1 and 2 remain as a function of time.

1) What type of radiation (alpha, beta, or gamma) would be most likely to escape through the container walls?
2) After many years, when the container is removed, it is found to contain helium gas, and the total mass of the
contents is found to have decreased. Account for each of these two observations.
I have no ideas. Please help. Thank You.

  • AP Physics -

    Gamma rays are high-energy electromagnetic radiation (photons) emitted in an attempt by the radionuclide to become stable, i.e., radioactive decay. Gamma rays have moderate-to-high penetrating power, are often able to penetrate deep into the body, and generally require some form of shielding, such as lead or concrete. Visible light is also in the form of photons. Gamma photons behave similarly to light, but they are invisible.

    Alpha and Beta don't penetrate as much

  • AP Physics -

    2) The helium is caused by alpha particles gaining electrons.
    The mass change comes from the radiation that is given off

  • AP Physics -

    What type of radiation (alpha, beta, or gamma) would be most likely to escape through the container walls?

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