Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso


  • Jun-Ichi TakahashiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1342


Radiochemistry is a field of chemistry concerned with radioactive materials. Research objectives of radiochemistry include:
  1. 1.

    Distributions and transformations of radioactive nuclides

  2. 2.

    Synthesis of artificial nuclides

  3. 3.

    Separation and purification of radioactive isotopes

  4. 4.

    Chemical properties of radioactive elements and their compounds

  5. 5.

    Chemical action of knock-on atoms associated with radioactive decay

  6. 6.

    Utilization of radioactive isotopes, i.e., utilization as a radioactive tracer or for isotope dating


This field was launched by the discovery of radioactivity by Becquerel in 1896.


Radioactive isotopes transform via nuclear decay and emit mainly three types of radiation, which are called alpha, beta, or gamma radiation.
  1. 1.

    Alpha radiation – the emission of an alpha particle (which contains 2 protons and 2 neutrons) from an atomic nucleus. When this occurs, the atom’s atomic mass will decrease by 4 units and atomic number will decrease by 2.

  2. 2.


Cosmic rays Radioactive isotope Radioactivity 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Choppin G, Liljenzin J-O, Jan Rydberg J, Christian Ekberg C (2013) Radiochemistry and nuclear chemistry, 4th edn. AcademicGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NTT Microsystem Integration LaboratoriesAtsugiJapan