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Radioactive isotope

  1. Nov 4, 2011 #1
    Hi, just learning about alpha and beta particles in class this week. What does it mean that the nucleus is unstable in a radioactive isotope? Is this a condition that must be present for nuclear radiation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2011 #2


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    A radioactive isotope (by definition) is one that is unstable. This almost always involves alpha or beta (+ or -) particle output. There is a rare reaction, electron capture, where no particle is emitted.
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