Radioactive Decay Essay

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Radioactive Decay Notes

What is Radiation?
Radiation is parts of atoms that are given off/ energy given off by a radioactive atom.

What is radioactive decay, fundamentally?
Radioactive decay is the result of an unstable nucleus trying to discard, or emit particles, to reach stability. Radioactivity is the product of unstable nuclei trying to reach a state of relative equilibrium. The different kinds of particles emitted determine the type of radioactivity that is created.

Who discovered it?
Henri Becquerel, in 1896, discovered that uranium darkened photographic plates, even when no external stimulus was recorded. This introduced an important factor of radioactivity: that it happens autonomously, within the nucleus.

Geiger Counter:
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No transmutation occurs with gamma decay, meaning that the atomic mass and number of protons doesn’t change within the nucleus. It is caused by a nucleus being in an excited state (after collisions or when large amounts of energy are involved), and then transitioning into a less excited state. When the nucleus does this, it emits a photon. Gamma Rays (created by gamma decay) are very similar to X-Rays, except they originate in the nucleus, rather than from interactions between electrons and …show more content…
Radiation either ionizes or excites molecules in living cells, leading to the dissociation of molecules within an organism. The most destructive effect radiation has on living matter is affecting the DNA. This can result in cellular death, mutation or mutagenesis (the process by which genetic information is modified by radiation or chemicals). This can lead to leukemia, birth defects, and many forms of cancer.
External results are like sunburns, which is ultraviolet radiation, caused by UV rays from the sun, sunburns are damage of cells from the sun, prolog expose to this type of radiation lead to skin cancer.
Alpha, beta, and gamma rays also cause damage to living matter, in varying degrees. Alpha do to being weak normally does not affect living matter, unless ingested. Beta does damage to DNA, which is why it is used in most cancer killing treatments. Gamma is the most dangerous, as where alpha and beta are charged particles, gamma rays are a form of energy. Because gamma rays have such high penetrating power (it can go through led) and can damage living cells to a great extent, they are often used in irradiation, a process used to kill living organisms. This is also how fictional Bruce Banner became the

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