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If there are multiple particles produced during a single decay, as in beta decay, their relative angular distribution, or spin directions may not be isotropic.
Highly excited neutron-rich nuclei, formed as the product of other types of decay, occasionally lose energy by way of neutron emission, resulting in a change from one isotope to another of the same element.
The nucleus may capture an orbiting electron, causing a proton to convert into a neutron in a process called electron capture.
All of these processes result in a well-defined nuclear transmutation.
A material containing such unstable nuclei is considered radioactive.
Curie · Skłodowska-Curie · Davisson · Fermi · Hahn · Jensen · Lawrence · Mayer · Meitner · Oliphant · Oppenheimer · Proca · Purcell · Rabi · Rutherford · Soddy · Strassmann · Szilárd · Teller · Thomson · Walton · Wigner Radioactive decay (also known as nuclear decay or radioactivity) is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy (in terms of mass in its rest frame) by emitting radiation, such as an alpha particle, beta particle with neutrino or only a neutrino in the case of electron capture, gamma ray, or electron in the case of internal conversion.