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Radioactive decay

  1. Aug 1, 2015 #1
    what causes radioactive decay i mean i know throw decay could turn unstable to stable atom. But what cause it unstable?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2015 #2


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  4. Aug 3, 2015 #3
    Radioactive nuclei are created in their unstable state, either through radioactive decay of another unstable nucleus or in catastrophic astronomical events such as supernova explosions.


    Closer to home, radioactive nuclei can be formed by nuclear reactions such as neutron capture or bombardment with very high energy particles such as electrons or protons.

    Generally speaking, the nuclei are radioactive because the ratio of neutrons to protons is wrong, or because they are overweight. Some also come out of nuclear reactions in an excited state and loose energy in the form of gamma radiation.
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