Radioactive Decay

The spontaneous change of an atomic nucleus accompanied by the emission of alpha, beta particles or gamma radiation.

Alpha Decay
Nuclear decay by emission of an alpha particle (4He nucleus).

Beta Decay
Nuclear decay by emission of an electron or a positron. Positron decay is always accompanied by electron capture decay.

Gamma Rays
Gamma ray emission is a decay mode by which the excited state of a nucleus de-excite to lower (more stable) state in the same nucleus.

See also: Activity, Air Equivalent, Alpha Particle, Beta Particle, Gamma Rays, Scintillation Counter.

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Subjects: Physics