Radioactive Decay

Radioactivity, Kinetics of Decay, Examples

Nuclides exist in two main forms, stable and unstable. A nuclide is considered to be stable if there is no proof of its spontaneous transformation into another nuclide. The probability of transformation is characterized by the half-life, which is defined as the time needed for half of the starting amount of an unstable nuclide to transform. Elements above lead are all unstable and have very long half-lives (order of 108–1010 years) compared to the age of the atom (assumed to be formed some 10 billion years ago).


Decay Constant Decay Mode Radioactive Decay Internal Conversion Daughter Nucleus 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Purdue University School of Nuclear EngineeringWest LafayetteUSA

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