Why are atoms larger than 82 radioactive?

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Why are atoms with an atomic number higher than 82, radioactive?

Posted Wed 1st May, 2013 @ 09:39 by Former Member

1 Answer

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Protons and Netrons are held together in the nucleus of an atom by the strong-force. This force acts over a very short distance of about ~1 fm, (10-15m) and over this short distance it can overcome the electromagnetic repulsion between the positively charged protons. Nuclei with radii that are within the range of the Strong force are stable. As atomic number increases the radius of the nucleus also increases and the element becomes unstable. This instablity manifests itself as the emission of particles or energy from the nucleus. The elements with atomic number greater than 82 are radioactive.


Answered Thu 2nd May, 2013 @ 13:44 by Tilly - Team GR