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12 Cards in this Set

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nuclear radiation
high-energy particles and rays that are emitted by the nuclei of some atoms; alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays are types of nuclear radiaton
radioactivity
the ability of some elements to give off nuclear radiation
radioactive decay
the process in which the nucleus of a radioactive atom releases nuclear radiation
alpha decay
the release of an alpha particle from a nucleus
mass number
the sum of the protons and neutrons in an atom
beta decay
the release of a beta particle from a nucleus
isotopes
atoms that have the same number of protons but have different numbers of neutrons
gamma decay
the release of gamma rays from a nucleus
half-life
the amount of time it takes for one-half the nuclei of a radioactive isotope to decay
nuclear fission
the process in which a large nucleus splits into two smaller nuclei; during this process, matter is converted into energy
nuclear chain reaction
a continusous series of nuclear fission reactions
nuclear fusion
the process in which two or more nuclei with small masses joing together, or fuse, to form a larger more massisve nucleus; during this process, matter is converted into energy