In the diagram on the right, alpha particles are stopped by the smoke, preventing the flow of current and triggering the alarm
Beta particles can be used to measure the thickness of thin materials such as paper, cardboard or aluminium foil
Radiation therapy to remove a tumour
Food that has been irradiated carries this symbol, called the Radura. Different countries allow different foods to be irradiated
Use the diagram to explain why is alpha radiation used in smoke detectors, and not beta or gamma radiation.
If you are presented with an unfamiliar situation in your exam don’t panic! Just apply your understanding of the properties of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Mainly think about the range (how far it can travel) and ionising power of the radiation to help understand which radiation is used in which situation.