Radioactive Decay

  • Gopal B. Saha


Approximately 1800 nuclides have been discovered thus far, and the majority of them are unstable. Unstable nuclei decay by spontaneous fission, a-particle, β-particle, or γ-ray emission, or electron capture, in order to achieve stability. The stability of a nuclide is governed by the structural arrangement and binding energy of the nucléons in the nucleus. One criterion of stability is the neutron-to-proton ratio (N/Z) of the stable nuclides; the radionuclides decay to achieve the N/Z of the nearest possible stable nuclide. Radioactive decay by particle emission or electron capture changes the atomic number of the radionuclide, whereas decay by x-ray emission does not.


Disintegration Rate Electron Capture Internal Conversion Conversion Coefficient Decay Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Suggested Reading

  1. Chase GD, Rabinowitz JL (1970) Principles of radioisotope methodology, 3rd ed. Burgess, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  2. Friedlander G, Kennedy JW, Miller JM (1981) Nuclear and radiochemistry, 3rd ed. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Sorensen JA, Phelpf ME (1980) Physics in nuclear medicine. Grune & Stratton. New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gopal B. Saha
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PharmacyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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