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Physics in Context - 2nd Edition

Chapter 9: Radiation

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9.1  Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic Radiation
A detailed lesson plan for a unit on Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic Waves—Succeed in Physical Science
A basic lesson in electromagnetic waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, and characteristics of electromagnetic waves. Includes a self-check quiz. Follow the links at the end of the article to find out more about visible light and X rays.

Star Light, Star Bright—Science Background
A complete lesson plan for learning more about EM radiation and its applications in astronomy. Includes activities for using several online simulations

Einstein's Legacy
This section of Physics 2000 includes background information on electromagnetic radiation as well as specific information on applications such as X rays and microwave ovens. Throughout the lesson are java applets that illustrate the concepts.

Frank Potter's Science Gems—Physical Science II
Frank Potter's site has a series of links sorted by topic and again by grade level of the intended audience. The section titled "Nuclear Structure" is relevant to this chapter.

Advanced Light Source
Description of the Advanced Light Source facility at Berkeley Labs. It explains the research carried out there. There are links to more detailed information on electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic Spectrum
Describes electromagnetic radiation and has a link to a color graphic showing the electromagnetic spectrum

Propagation of an Electromagnetic Wave
This Java applet shows the relations between electric field, magnetic field, and wave vector when an electromagnetic wave propagates through space. This depiction of an EM wave has an adjustable B (magnetic) component. You can click and drag the tip of the B-vector anywhere in the plane and see the effect on velocity.

Electromagnetic Wave
A simpler animation showing the synchronization of the E and H components, but parameters cannot be changed.

Electromagnetic Spectrum—Introduction
This NASA website explains the electromagnetic spectrum and why some portions of it are blocked by the Earth's atmosphere. There are links to a self-quiz and also to lesson plans and other items.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum
This is a graphical summary of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum (and more)
This series of pages at "HowStuffWorks" gives an easy to read summary of the various aspects of radiation throughout the electromagnetic spectrum.

Live from the Stratosphere
Links to several activities addressing electromagnetic radiation data and experiments related to NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory are available at this site.

KryssTal—The Electromagnetic Spectrum
This site gives a short history of the contributions of various scientists to our understanding of light and the electromagnetic spectrum, including Isaac Newton, Thomas Young, Albert Einstein, Galileo Galileii, Olaf Romer, William Herschel, Johann Wilhelm Ritter, James Clark Maxwell, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, M. G. Marconi, and Wilhelm Roentgen.

Electromagnetic Spectrum
A calculator from the Hyperphysics site that will calculate wavelength or frequency as well as quantum energy

Radiation Safety
Includes links to sites discussing safety issues related to all types of radiation.

Infrared Universe
This site from CalTech introduces infrared astronomy, and includes links to several more pages at the site detailing the discovery and uses of infrared light in astronomy.

Infrared Spectroscopy
This site from CalTech introduces the use of spectroscopy for studying various sources of light, specifically astronomical sources.

Visible Light and Infrared Radiation Images
A lab procedure that duplicates Herschel's experiment.

A web site dedicated to atmospheric optics, including this page illustrating and discussing the science behind many different kinds of rainbows.

Ultraviolet Radiation: How It Affects Life on Earth
This NASA web page provides a detailed discussion of UV-B radiation and its effects on life on earth.

UV Index Forecast
The page from the EPA “Sunwise” web site includes discussions about UV-index forecasts of UV levels across the USA, based on environmental and atmospheric models.

Stratospheric UV Index Links
From the NOAA/EPA Climate Prediction Center, this page includes dozens of links to national and international ultraviolet monitoring sites.

Ultraviolet Radiation
This is a very informative fact sheet on UV radiation and its health effects, prepared by Ohio State University

X Ray
Encyclopedia article that describes X rays and their discovery, production, and applications

X-Rays on Wikipedia
An encyclopedic presentation of many facts about X-Rays on the Wikipedia web site, including links to references for further study.

History of Radiology
This page at the NDT web site recounts the discovery of X-Rays, and their development into one of the most useful tools in radiology for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Photoelectric Effect (basic)
This site provides a very basic but understandable explanation of the photoelectric effect, and the related Nobel-prize-winning work by Einstein.

Photoelectric Effect (advanced)
This applet from the Virtual Physics Laboratory simulates the photoelectric effect. You can vary incident photon energy and intensity, the work function of the target, and the applet will automatically increase bias voltage values generate a graph of photoelectric current versus bias voltage.

Photoelectric Effect
Examine the photo-electric effect with sodium and cesium targets by varying the intensity and wavelength of incident light along with the bias voltage.

Blackbody Spectrum
An interactive applet showing the spectral distribution of light due to "blackbody radiation." (Click and drag the thermometer bar up or down.)

Photoelectric Work Functions
The following URLs include tables of photoelectric work functions for selected metals.

Famous Discoveries: the Photoelectric Effect:
This page describes the measurements that ultimately resulted in Albert Einstein receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for discovering the laws describing the photoelectric effect interpreting light as photons.

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle Resources
Many resources on the web in one location for your viewing pleasure!

9.2  Nuclear Radiation

Exploring the Table of Isotopes
Selection of an element on this periodic table will link you to a list and further information on all known isotopes of the element. Additional links at the bottom of the page will take you to a glossary of terms used, information on nuclear science, and applications of radioactive isotopes.

Isotopes on Wikipedia
An encyclopedic summary of many facts about isotopes on the Wikipedia web site, including a graph depicting half-lives of various isotopes, based on the number of protons (atomic number) and neutrons, as well as links to references for further study.

Radioisotopes in Medicine
This article presents several facts about the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of radioisotopes in medicine, such as the most frequently used radioisotope, the numbers of procedures done that involve them, and their increasing demand.

Nuclear Physics
A concise summary of important concepts of nuclear physics including a discussion of radioactivity of heavier elements and also the nuclear reactions of fusion and fission. Also examines some of the uses and dangers of radiation in our lives today.

Strong Nuclear Force
This page from the Space Science and Spacecraft Applications course describes the strong nuclear force.

Nuclear Fission, Fusion, and the Bomb
A “prezi” lesson on nuclear fission and fusion. Includes a historical look at the evolvement of nuclear fission and fusion understanding, nuclear bombs, and the present uses of fission for energy production. Click the right arrow to advance.

Radioactive Decay
These notes begin with a review of the strong nuclear force and nuclear binding energy and then move to a discussion of radioactive decay including alpha, beta, and gamma decay.

Welcome to the Particle Adventure
The Particle Adventure is an award-winning site that allows you to explore the world of fundamental particles and forces and then to investigate the experimental evidence and techniques. Interesting trivia questions are scattered throughout the site. Click the Go- and right-pointing buttons to advance.

Nuclear Medicine
In this “HowStuffWorks” series of articles, learn the many ways that medicine is using nuclear fission products in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Nuclear Power
In this "HowStuffWorks" series of articles, learn how nuclear power generation occurs, and how it can sometimes “break down,” as occurred with the tsunami of March 2011 crippling a nuclear reactor in Japan.

Law of Radioactive Decay
This Java applet depicts radioactive decay of a sample. A collection of atoms is shown decaying while a counter keeps count of the total numbers. Also displayed is a graph of exponential decay. (A point is added to the decay graph each time the user clicks pause/resume.)

Radioactive Decay Applet
Another applet depicting the decay of a sample. It automatically graphs the remaining atoms as a function of time but doesn't show scaling (e.g., the number of half-lives) on the horizontal axis.

Nuclear Chain Reaction Applet
This Java applet depicts a nuclear chain reaction. You begin the reaction by releasing a neutron.

Nuclear Isotope Half-lives
An interesting color-coded, interactive graph that investigates the distribution of elements by numbers of neutrons and protons. The half-life of each element is given.

Natural Radioactive Series
This applet depicts in simulated time the radioactive decay of four different elements into their daughter products. Enter the time step (e.g., 500 years or 500,000,000 years) and click "Animate" to obtain an appreciation for the extremely long decay rates of daughter products of some common radioactive elements.

Introduction to Special Relativity
How Veronica and Archie tell time in space...

Einstein Light
These multimedia give a brief overview of relativity - they present the main ideas.