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Applications of radioactivity



Introduction Radioactivity was discovered by Henri Becquerel in 1869. In 1898, Marie and Pierre Curie succeeded in chemically isolating two radioactive elements, Polonium (z=84) and Radium (z= 88). Radioactivity or radioactive decay is the spontaneous disintegration of unstable nuclides to form stable ones with the emission of radiation. Unstable nuclides continue to disintegrate until a stable atom is formed. Alpha (α) and beta (ϐ) particles are emitted and the gamma rays (ϒ) accompany the ejection of both alpha and beta particles.   The nucleus The nucleus is made up of protons and neutrons. They are surrounded by negatively charged ions known as electrons. The number of protons is equal to the number of electrons. Both protons and neutrons have the same mass. The weight of an electron is relatively small compared to neutrons and protons.   The number of protons in an atom is referred to as the proton number… Read More »RADIOACTIVITY

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