radioactive decay


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to radioactive decay: alpha decay, half life, radioactivity

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

radioactive

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 ?
Table 3: Runs Test to Verify the Randomness in the Radioactive Decay of a Given Sample
On 4 Dec 2002, a total solar eclipse occurred, during which the radioactive decay rate of Co-60 was measured at Pittsburg State University in southeastern Kansas [17], and the radioactive decay rate of Po-210 [18] was measured in the Boston area, both at/near the time of totality in southern Australia.
A subsequent essay elucidates the concept of exponential growth, drawing upon examples that involve chessboards, bacteria colonies, world population, and radioactive decay.
This, of course, requires an observer and distinguishes synchronicity from the more general acausal orderedness such as radioactive decay, the speed of light, and other just-so constancies that one finds in the physical world.
The cylinder is irradiated, and the rate at which radioactive decay occurs is measured and related to the oxygen content of the sample.
Physicists say that if a special kind of radioactive decay called "neutrinoless double-beta decay" is observed, it would prove two things - one, that in certain circumstances more matter is in fact created than antimatter; and two, neutrinos (which are virtually massless particles produced during radioactive decay) can behave as their own antiparticles.
Geoscience Australia's rock-dating 'time machine' uses radiometric geochronology techniques to measure the age of rocks based on the radioactive decay of the mineral elements found within the rocks.
Helium accumulates underground during the radioactive decay of unstable elements.
Their solution was a device that takes spent nuclear waste and converts the radioactive decay directly into usable power.
This is the first "geologic clock" in early solar system history that does not rely on measurements and interpretations of the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei to determine age.
Topics include an introduction to deterministic classical physics, radioactive decay, probability distributions and transformations, discrete and continuous distributions, propagation of error, measuring radioactivity, Monte Carlo methods and applications in dosimetry, and regression analysis.
Tungsten-182 is created by the radioactive decay of hafnium-182.