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Just wondering, why are some atoms radioactive and others not?

  1. Oct 21, 2005 #1
    Just wondering, why are some atoms radioactive and others not?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2005 #2
    The large number nucleoids cannot stay bonded.
     
  4. Oct 21, 2005 #3
    Thanking you
     
  5. Oct 21, 2005 #4

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Many nulcides are stable - they have the 'right' combination (number) of protons and neturons (nucleons) to maintain stability. Some nucides have an excess or protons or neutrons and decay at some point to a more stable configuration.

    Radionuclides with an excess of protons will decay (transform) by positron emission or in a few cases by electron capture.

    Radionuclides with an excess of neutrons will decay by beta or alpha emssion. Alpha emission occurs in many radionulides having mass greater than 210 amu (Bi-210 and Po-210 are the lightest alpha emitters).

    Some transuranic nuclides undergo spontaneous fission.

    Please refer to - http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuclear/radact.html#c1
     
  6. Oct 26, 2005 #5
    radioactive atoms are isotopes with a certain number of excess neutrons that they "radiate" those neutrons, and give them off slowly. any atom can become a radioactive isotope by just gaining nuetrons.
     
  7. Oct 29, 2005 #6

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    Not quite. Only certain atoms release neutrons when they undergo spontaneous fission, or when they undergo neutron-induced fission, or in rare cases interaction with a gamma ray or alpha particle.

    Otherwise, nuclear decay occurs by electron emission (beta decay), positron emission, electron capture, alpha particle emission, and gamma decay.
     
  8. Dec 9, 2005 #7
    wait a minute? doesn't radioactive simply mean to release energy. And since all things are always in motion and are made of atoms prove that all things release or provide energy.
     
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