Radioactivity

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There are three main types of radiation, called alpha, beta and gamma radiation, which all have different properties. 

 

Half-life

The nuclei of radioactive atoms are unstable. They break down and change into a completely different type of atom. This is called radioactive decay.

The radioactivity of an object is measured by the number of nuclear decays it emits each second – the more it emits, the more radioactive it is.

There are two definitions of half-life, but they mean essentially the same thing. Half-life is the time taken for:

  • The number of nuclei of the radioactive isotope

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