Nuclear Physics Project Description

This is the first formal year this project will be done.  (Someone did it last year with little or no direction and had great results.  Since then we've secured additional equipment that should make the experience even better.)  That said, the requirements aren't set in stone as much as the other projects are.  If you choose this one, you and I will have to work together to set realistic expectations.  I expect, like last year, it will go very well.

Week 1

Research and record what you find.  Chapters 39 & 40 in our text book are quite good but you could research the internet as well or instead.
Find out and record what the following things are:

  1. For alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays:
    1. What they are
    2. The strength of each (what they can go through)
    3. What happens to the atom when the radiation is given off
  2. Isotopes:
    1. What they are
    2. Are they all radioactive?  If not, why not?  If so, why?
  3. Determining age through radioactive dating
  4. Fission vs. Fusion:
    1. What each one is
    2. Weapons grade vs. Peaceful use
    3. How they change a nuclear bomb to make it explode
  5. Irradiation of food:
    1. What is it and is it safe?

Week 2

  1. Determine and record your yearly exposure to radiation using this resource.
  2. Look through the labs listed in Moodle and resources relating to the Hope College nuclear physics kit and decide which experiments you want to do first.
  3. Come up with the question you want to ask and turn it in to the green folder.  (See Grading Rubric #4 for more information.)
  4. Measure and record the background radiation in our classroom.
  5. Start doing some experiments.  Make sure to record what you're doing and what you're learning from each.
  6. Let Mr. Falk know if you want to do some of the stuff that requires materials from the Hope College.

Week 3 & 4

  1. Continue working through your experiments.  Make sure to record what you're doing and what you're learning from each.
  2. Start working toward answering your question.

Week 5 & 6

  1. Pitch your "Final Product" idea to Mr. Falk.  (Paper, Power Point,...feel free to be creative.)
  2. Turn in your answer to your question.
  3. Finish up your experiments and research.
  4. Turn in your final product.