The property of some materials by which individual atoms decay, emitting energy or particles often transforming into different elements in the process.

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How can quantum tunnelling lead to spontaneous decay?

I have never understood what measuring process (if any) is supposed to be continuously polling the quantum state of an unstable bound system subjected to decay via quantum tunnelling. The reason I ...
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1answer
40 views

Cause of radioactivity

If Uranium-238 is hit by a neutron, it splits into different parts. My question is (a) Why throwing a neutron will destroy the equilibrium? Rather, should it not help maintain it? (As neutron is ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Measuring very long half lives accurately

There are already some questions about long half life times for radioactive elements, explaining how to calculate the half life time. Now I am wondering: When you have some radioactive material and ...
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1answer
19 views

Why is beta-minus decay considered isobaric?

Page 20 of Physics in Nuclear Medicine says that beta-minus decay is isobaric (eg the A/Z ratio remains the same). The reason it gives is that "mass number A does not change." However, in beta-minus ...
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1answer
46 views

Why do we use Bequerel to measure Radioactivity in food? [closed]

Wouldn't it be better to use the equivalent dose?
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315 views

Beta decay: is it OK that the products are not electrically neutral?

I'm just learning about radioactivity, and there's one thing I'm unclear about. Take $\beta -$ decay, for example. Since a neutron splits into a proton and an electron (and an anti neutrino), but ...
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61 views

Radioactive decay-Why does it depend on numbers left

As textbooks describe the rate law for radioactive decay as a first order reaction dN/dt=kN,why is it so(mine does not give the reason)? How is the radioactive decay of one atom depeendent on the ...
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18 views

Protonic emissions

In a beta emission a neutron decays,into a proton and an electron, and an electron randomly gets ejected from the nucleus due to the phenomenon of barrier tunnelling(correct me if am wrong).But why is ...
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3answers
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Can radioactivity be slowed through time dilation?

Can radioactivity be slowed using the effect of time dilation? If you put cesium, tritium or uranium in a cyclotron at relativisitic speeds, do their half lives become longer in our frame? Could ...
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2answers
63 views

Question about calculating age of a uranium and lead containing object, based on the ratio of uranium-to-lead

I realize this is probably going to sound so stupid, but... here goes: Radioactive decay: We know that we can calculate the age of a uranium containing object by the uranium-to-lead ratio, due to ...
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1answer
14 views

Why does natural counting with a gamma spectrometer differ from Neutron activation analysis?

As stated in the title, why are the data from natural counting using s gamma spectrometer different than the data from neutron activation analysis using the same samples?
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2answers
41 views

Can electron capture occur with an external electron?

Can electron capture proceed with an electron not bound to the nucleus which decays (that is one that is bound to a neighboring atom, bound in a collective state like a conduction band, or free)?
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1answer
95 views

Radioactive decay of Uranium 238

Problem We have a cubic room of side $10$ m, into which no fresh air has been allowed to flow for a week. We register a specific activity of radon ($Rn-222$) of $50$ Bqm$^{-3}$. Knowing that $Rn-222$ ...
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33 views

Sustained nuclear criticality in liquid vortex

In 1958, chemical operator Cecil Kelley was killed by a nuclear excursion in a mixing tank. A tank intended to reprocess trace amounts of dissolved plutonium-239 accidentally had dramatically more ...
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2answers
96 views

Safety of Polonium Isotope source

I saw a YouTube video by a guy demonstrating Geiger Counter use and one of his radioactive test sources was a disk with Polonium. He casually mentioned that this was the poison used to kill that ...
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0answers
27 views

Detection of radioactive iodine at trash dumps [closed]

I have a cat that is getting radioactive iodine therapy and I am told I must flush the litter for 2 weeks because if I throw it away normally the dump will detect the radiation and fine me. This ...
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1answer
84 views

Long distance radiation detection, David Hahn and the clock

The strange character David Hahn, obsessed with creating a nuclear reactor since a young age, was reportedly wandering around his neighborhood with a Geiger counter and by this means he located a ...
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0answers
26 views

Why is nuclear waste, waste? [duplicate]

My colleagues and I are chatting and none of us know why nuclear waste is waste. That is to say, if something is still radioactive, why can't that radiation be used? Can't the energy from, at least ...
0
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3answers
60 views

Are Geiger counters isotope-specific?

I was talking with an employee at a company that does I-131 therapy for hyperthyroidism and they said that the Geiger counters they use are "tuned" for I-131, implying that regular Geiger counters are ...
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2answers
117 views

Calculate the probability that a radioactive nucleus will have decayed after the passage of three half-lives

This is a problem given in my Physics Textbook and I've been trying to solve it for the past hour. It's not something exceptionally challenging, but more conceptual in nature. Not much, connections ...
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2answers
40 views

What happens to covalent bonds after the nuclear transmutation of an atom in a molecule?

What happens when we have a decaying atom in a molecule, which has covalent bonds with other atoms? I assume some of the bonds will cease to exists, but I did not manage to find any rule about which ...
3
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2answers
58 views

Beta decay of radiocarbon

I read some weird equation on wikipedia about the beta decay of radiocarbon: ${^{14}_{6}C} \rightarrow {^{14}_{7}N} + e^{-} + \overline{\nu_{e}}$ The problem with this equation that it does not ...
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2answers
697 views

Can a half life be given in electron volts?

I'm using this link to search for particular energies in which gammas may be emitted (for nuclide identification on a gamma spectrum). If on the above link you go down to the "γ condition #1" line, ...
3
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2answers
271 views

Does hotter radioactive substance have longer half life?

Sorry to have a newbie question! But I want to ask, if it is possible to change the half life of radioactive substance by heating it, my hypothesis is: When substance becomes hotter, the kinetic ...
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1answer
38 views

Can alpha, beta or gamma radiations emitted by a radioactive substance be controlled? [duplicate]

Just saw this question in a school class 10 exam. Google search did not yield useful results. Can anyone please explain the answer here?
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0answers
32 views

Confusion about radioactivity

The following question is from General Problems on Physics by I.E Irodov 6.220. Find the decay constant and the mean lifetime of $^{55}\operatorname{Co}$ radionuclide if its activity is known to ...
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0answers
32 views

Peak in continous energy spectrum

I was reading online about particle decay. For the decay of Strontium-90 to Yttrium-90, a beta particle is emitted. The energy distribution of beta particle is continuous. If I know that the maximum ...
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3answers
29 views

Measuring Activity

The formula for Activity of a radioactive substance is $ \frac{dN}{dt}=A=λN $. If we have an initial number $N(0)$ of some Radionuclide, which has a halflife of, say, 12 hours, is there any ...
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37 views

Question on decay constant

I have a model of the radioactivity of a target which is undergoing Neutron Spallation. The Protons are incident upon the target for approximately 200 hours. Within the model, over the course of ...
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1answer
66 views

Is (or why isn't) static charge as lethal as ionizing radiation?

Ionizing radiation, e.g. the "stuff" emitted by radioactive materials, is dangerous to humans since changes to the electron configurations (in the human body) causes the various molecules (in the ...
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1answer
56 views

Predict decay chain of a radioactive element

I know there are tables of decay chain of radioactive elements. Is there a way to predict the whole chain from the first radioactive element?
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3answers
1k views

Why not dilute radioactive waste?

Radioactive wastes are dangerous because unstable elements are too concentrated. Originally radioactive elements come from nature where they were very diluted and that's why they were secure. So why ...
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1answer
86 views

Can the same isotope sometimes emit gamma rays alongside alpha (or beta) rays and sometimes emit just the alpha (or beta) rays?

Is it possible that sometimes all the energy goes to the alpha (or beta) particle so that no gamma rays are emitted and other times part of the energy is emitted as a gamma quant?
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2answers
135 views

How can I calculate the uncertainty in radioactive decay

So I have an exercise that says that the initial rate of $14\mathrm{C}$ was $13.5$ (per second) and nowadays it $10.8$ (per second). The half-life time is $5730$ years with an uncertainty of $30$ ...
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1answer
72 views

Error in total counts

I'm performing a radioactivity experiment where I measure a specific number of counts in some time period t. Later on I take the total count rate. (Number of counts/time: $N/t$) I'm supposed to find ...
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59 views

Electronic energy level in alpha and beta radioactivity

My textbook says that : " When a nucleus in an atom undergoes a radioactive decay, the electronic energy levels of the atom changes for alpha and beta radioactovity but not for gamma radioactovity. " ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Order of emission of radioactive particles

Is there any sort of sequence in the emission of radioactive particles? ie. alpha, beta, gamma or any other type of decay I don't know about. Specifically, I wanted to know is there any evidence to ...
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1answer
101 views

Can a sample of beta radiation be considered as the fabled philosophers stone? [closed]

Given that it is possible to produce gold in nuclear reactors (even if not economical), is there a natural source of beta radiation whose half life is similar to that of human lifetime and whose beta ...
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2answers
64 views

why is gamma ray ejected during radioactive decay?

Why are gamma rays are emmited? Why is it not that an x ray or infrared or ultraviolet or cosmic or microwave ray is emmited?
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1answer
31 views

Effect of radioactive decay on the structure

In case of electricity, the understanding is that conductivity occurs only on the surface of the element.Is it true for radio-active decay as well ? If not and the decay occurs within the element, ...
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1answer
32 views

Notation on chart of the isotopes

I recently purchased a complete chart of the isotopes, (this one: https://shop.marktdienste.de/shoppages/produktuebersicht.aspx ) and have it on the wall next to me in work. The different coloured ...
2
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1answer
32 views

Radioisotope beta decay generator

Why are there no electrical generators utilising the electron/s of beta decay from a radioisotope for generating a working current? For example, how much radioisotope would I need to generate 1A or ...
2
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2answers
71 views

Why didn't accelerator mass spectrometry greatly improve the accuracy of carbon dating?

My understanding of the limitation of radiometric dating is that background radiation swamps the radiation from C14 once the remaining atoms get few enough in number. Accelerator mass spectrometry ...
3
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2answers
45 views

from where does the beta(negative) particle get velocity from?

a neutron decays into a electron a proton and an antineutrino,the proton stays in the nucleus,why does the electron come out though it is attracted by the positively charged nucleus,from where does it ...
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1answer
30 views

How would an eruption affect radiocarbon dating?

Nuclear testing above ground and the burning of fossil fuels might affect the outcome of radiocarbon dating. How would an eruption the size of Yellowstone or larger affect radiocarbon dating?
7
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211 views

What is this jump in U235 fission yields?

Is it an artifact? (I have drawn the black line). Or can anybody explain it theoretically? The plot is the "235U Chain 14MeV" provided in the website https://www-nds.iaea.org/ Some sources call it ...
0
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1answer
74 views

Relativistic Effects of Radioactive Decay in Carbon Dating

Theoretically if in early years the earth was moving at an astronomically different pace (whether in orbit or rotation, whatever sounds better) wouldn't that alter the science of carbon dating? As I ...
0
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0answers
18 views

Can an excited nucleus capture a second neutron? [duplicate]

I am wondering if is it possible to have the following scenario: Nucleus captures neutron. Nucleus is excited but does not relax through decay but captures another neutron. Maybe it is possible if ...
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2answers
77 views

Estimation of the age of Earth

By calculating the ratio of U-238 to Pb - 209 the age of the earth can be estimated. Is it not a possibility that non radioactive lead already there formed during the birth of earth it self alter the ...
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2answers
137 views

Does Bell's theorem exclude local hidden variables as explanation for radioactive decay?

Often it is said that Bell's theorem (and the observed violations thereof) rules out local hidden variable theories as the explanation for the seeming non-determinism found in quantum mechanics. I'm ...