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What's a simple explanation of radioactive decay?

Key Facts There are only certain combinations of neutrons and protons, which form stable nuclei. ... Radioactive decay is a random process at the level of single atoms, in that, according to quantum theory, it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay. ... There are three basic modes of radioactive decay: Alpha decay .Beta-decay. ... More items...

What is the end result of radioactive decay?

Radioactive decay is the process in which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting ionizing particles and radiation. This decay, or loss of energy, results in an atom of one type (called the parent nuclide) transforming to an atom of a different type (called the daughter nuclide).

What are some examples of radioactive decay?

Examples of Radioactive Decay. There are a number of applications where we use the concept of radioactive decay in real life, some of them are listed below: 1. Smoke Detectors. One of the prominent applications of alpha decay can be observed in the smoke detectors installed in buildings.

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