# Radioactive decay of an isolated body

1. Jan 25, 2012

### uby

(original question) Does the electric charge of an isolated block of radioactive material increase, assume that all emissions are reabsorbed?

Subsequent edit: I guess if the body were isolated and emissions escaped the body, a charge would build up until the capacitance of the body is achieved, at which point the space charge might be sufficient to recapture further emissions.

Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
2. Jan 25, 2012

### mathman

The block remains electrically neutral. The nucleus that remains after the decay has one more proton than before, so the atom will need one more electron to compensate.

3. Jan 25, 2012

### uby

oof. Now I feel silly. Thanks.