Nuclear physics basics and Nuclear technology Upsc

Basics of Nuclear Science

In 1803, John Dalton considered elements are made of identical atoms. J. J. Thomson discovered electrons, also called Cathode rays in an experiment.

Goldstein found positive rays. We name these positive rays Protons, by Rutherford. James Chadwick in 1932 discovered the chargeless particles called Neutrons.

Currently, there are other particles found such as Photon, meson, positron, and neutrino. Ernest Rutherford, a British scientist, explained the mass of an atom is concentrated in its central part called Nucleus.

Basics of Nuclear Science
Basics of Nuclear Science
nuclear energy

The discovery of Radioactivity

In 1896, French Physicist, Henri Becquerel accidentally discovered the phenomenon of radioactivity when he places uranium near the photographic plate.

Uranium radiated and affected the photographic plate. This phenomenon is called Radioactivity.

Therefore Uranium is a radioactive element.

Two years later, the Polish physicist Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie studied the radioactive properties of Pitchblende which is an ore of uranium.

Then they studied Pitchblende, and they found that some other substances exist other than Uranium, which emits radiation.

They called that new substance as Radium.

These elements emit harmful radiations such as Alpha, Beta, and Gamma rays that are commonly known as radioactive radiations.

Safety Measures

We receive some radiation Naturally. Example: Sun Radiation, Radiation from Soil, etc. Also, we receive radiation from Television, Microwave ovens, X-Ray machines, Mobile Phones, etc.

This radiation is very less, and it does not cause much damage. The age of the earth is 109 years or 45 Crore 40 lakh years.

Some man-made radiations from Nuclear reactors, nuclear devices in the atmosphere or under the ground may turn to be dangerous.

Improper and careless handling of radioactive elements may release harmful radiation. A person exposed to the radiation for a longer duration may possess significant health risks and be genetically affected.

Permitted Range of Nuclear Radiation

The permissible range of exposable radiation on Humans is recommended by ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection).

As per ICRP, radiation is safe is does not affect a person. The safe limit of radiation exposure is 20 Milli Sievert per Year.

In terms of Roentgen, the safety limit is 100mR per Week. If it is 100 R, it may cause a fatal disease like Cancer or Leukemia (Death of red blood corpuscle in the blood).

If the person is exposed to radiation of about 600R, it leads to death. The dosimeter is used to detect the levels of exposure to Ionizing radiation.

We use the dosimeter in Nuclear power plants and medical imaging facilities. Pocket Dosimeter provides immediate results to the person exposed to X-Rays and Gamma Rays.

Preventive Measures to avoid Nuclear Accidents

We should keep radioactive materials and substances in a thick lead container. While working with Hazardous radioactive materials, lead-coated Aprons should be used.

Should eat in a hazardous environment and while handling nuclear substances.

We should handle radioactive materials only with Tongs or by a remote control device. The workers should wear dosimeters to be aware of the level of radiation.

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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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