Radioactive Decay Research Paper

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Radioactive decay is the process in which a nucleus of an unstable atom loses energy by releasing radiation. The history of radioactive decay dates all the way back to 1896. Discovered by a French scientist named Henri Becquerel, radiation was thought to be similar to X-rays, instead is was much more complicated. The loss of energy from the nucleus happens when the parent radionuclide transforms into an atom with a nucleus in a different form, containing a different number of protons and neutrons. Marie Curie, one of Becquerel's companions, was the first person to use the term "radioactive". The three main types of radioactive decay are alpha decay, beta decay, and gamma decay. The radioactive process in which a particle consisting of two neutrons and two protons emit from the nucleus of…show more content…
It happens when the proton to neutron ratio in an atom is low. Alpha decay is the strongest decay yet travels the shortest distance- up to seven centimeters. This doesn't mean they are not dangerous. Particles are still massive and carry the most radiation. The element experiencing alpha decay changes because the quantity of protons and electrons changes. The two types of beta decay are beta-minus and beta-plus. Beta decay is a process in which a proton breaks into a neutron or vice versa. The element undergoing beta-minus decay has a high ratio of protons or neutrons to electrons and turns into a different element because a neutron breaks into a proton, antineutrino, and an electron. In beta-plus decay the same thing happens except instead of a neutron breaking into an antineutrino and electron it breaks into a neutrino and positron. Both are very strong and can travel up to a meter in distance. Gamma decay is the strongest electromagnetic energy form of radiation. It's not particles like alpha and

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