radioactive decay

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radioactive decay

The continual loss of energy by radioactive substances. Disintegration of the nucleus by the emission of alpha, beta, or gamma rays eventually results in the complete loss of radioactivity. The time required for some materials to become stable may be minutes and, for others, thousands of years.
See: half-life
See also: decay
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References in periodicals archive ?
Neutrino Induced Decoherence and Variation in Nuclear Decay Rates.
Russell Humphreys, "Accelerated Nuclear Decay: A Viable Hypothesis?" in Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: A Young-Earth Creationist Research Initiative 1, ed.
Let me stress that I am not proposing at this time that nuclear decay rates actually do increase over time.
Because free neutron decay is unencumbered by the many-nucleon effects present in all other nuclear decays, measurements of the parameters that describe neutron decay can be related to the fundamental weak couplings in a straightforward fashion.
Harriet Brooks, discoverer of the recoil of the radioactive atom and of successive nuclear decays, was honoured recently in Ottawa, ON, by being inducted into the Canadian Science and Technology Hall of Fame.
For example: Are the four basic forces of nature--the electromagnetic force, the weak force that controls nuclear decays, the strong force that holds atomic nuclei together, and gravity--variations of a single, more fundamental force?
Nuclear decays of thorium, uranium, and the isotopes into which those elements transform give off antineutrinos.
"Certainly, it had some sort of self-regulation mechanism." Modern reactors are controlled by rods made of materials that sop up neutrons generated during fission so that they can no longer trigger additional nuclear decays.

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