Worksheet: Gamma Radiation

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the process of unstable atoms decaying to a lower energy state by emitting high-energy gamma rays.

Q1:

When an unstable nucleus emits a neutron, by how much does the atomic number of the nucleus change?

Q2:

When an atomic nucleus emits a gamma ray, by how much does the charge of the nucleus change?

Q3:

When an atomic nucleus emits a gamma ray, by how much does the mass number of the nucleus change?

Q4:

The following nuclear equation shows neutron emission by helium-5:

What is the value of 𝑚 in the given equation?

What is the value of 𝑛 in the given equation?

Q5:

When an unstable nucleus emits a neutron, by how much does the charge of the nucleus change?

Q6:

When an unstable nucleus emits a neutron, by how much does the mass number of the nucleus change?

Q7:

When an atomic nucleus emits a gamma ray, by how much does the atomic number of the nucleus change?

Q8:

Which of the following correctly explains why free neutrons are more dangerous than alpha and beta radiation?

  • ANeutrons have a greater electric charge than either alpha particles or beta particles, so are more ionizing.
  • BFree neutrons rapidly decay into several highly ionizing particles.
  • CNeutrons are heavier than either alpha particles or beta particles, and so are not deflected as easily.
  • DNeutrons are uncharged, and so can travel through substances more easily than alpha and beta particles.

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