radioactive decay

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radioactive decay

the disintegration of the nucleus of an unstable nuclide by the spontaneous emission of charged particles, photons, or both.

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


characterized by radioactivity.

radioactive decay
spontaneous decomposition of the nuclei of the atoms of radioactive substances. Measured as the proportion of the atoms in a radionuclide that decompose per unit of time, usually stated as the half-life of that particular isotope.
radioactive fallout
dissemination of radioactive substances through the atmosphere and deposition on the environment generally; causes radiation injury.
radioactive isotope
radionuclide. A radioactive nuclide, e.g. radioactive iodine or strontium.
radioactive tracer
see radioactive tracer.
References in periodicals archive ?
Le ministre russe des Situations d'urgence, Serguei Choigou, avait exprime la crainte la semaine derniere que des incendies ne gagnent la region de Briansk, soulignant que le feu propagerait alors la radioactivite contenue dans le sol et la vegetation.
7) Labomtoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPS, UMR CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Centre des faibles Radioactivites, Laboratoire mixte CNRS-CEA, avenue de la Terrasse, 91198-Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France (Email: helene.
thesis at the Centre des Faibles Radioactivites at Gif/Yvette by trying to extract information from the magnetization of tiny specimens of sediment, hoping that they would tell him something about geomagnetic reversals.
Eric Robin and his colleagues from the Centre des Faibles Radioactivites in Gifsur-Yvette, France, concluded that an asteroid hit the Pacific after they analyzed tiny particles found in seafloor sediments collected in the northwestern part of that ocean.

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