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Definition of an unstable atom.

  • #1

Homework Statement


Definition of an unstable atom

Homework Equations


The definition = the answer.

The Attempt at a Solution


My guess is an atom with an unbalance in the strong or weak nuclear forces, leading to radioactive decay. Does anyone have any better ideas?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Delphi51
Homework Helper
3,407
10
What you describe I would call an unstable nucleus.
To me, an unstable atom is one whose orbiting electrons are not in stable states. Like a hydrogen atom that has absorbed energy that puts the electron at an n=2 level. It will soon fall back to ground state and emit the energy.
 
  • #3
It was talking about radioactive decay for the rest of the homework, so I assume that is what it was talking about. Of course, I could just put that and troll the teacher. :tongue:
 
  • #4
Delphi51
Homework Helper
3,407
10
Okay, then it is the nucleus planning to rearrange itself as you said.
Avoid antagonizing the teacher - let him concentrate on making more interesting questions for you. But do suggest an improvement in the wording for next year.
 

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