Radioactive Decay

**Alpha decay**: the loss of an*α*-particle: a helium nucleus*α*-particle

**Beta decay**: the loss of a*β*-particle: a high-energy electron*β*-particle

**Positron emission**: the loss of a positron**Positron**: a particle that has the same mass as, but an opposite charge to, that of an electron

**Gamma emission**: the loss of a*γ*-ray: high-energy radiation that almost always accompanies the loss of a nuclear particle:*γ*-ray

**Electron capture (K-capture)**: addition of an electron to a proton in the nucleusThe result of this process is that a proton is transformed into a neutron

Nuclear transmutation is a first-order process.

The kinetics of such a process obey this equation:

**ln(***Nt/N*0) =*−kt*Nt is the mass, or number of particles at time t.

No is the original.

The half-life of such a process is

0.693/

*k=t*1/2Comparing the amount of a radioactive nuclide present at a given point in time with the amount normally present, one can find the age of an object.

**Alpha decay**: the loss of an*α*-particle: a helium nucleus*α*-particle

**Beta decay**: the loss of a*β*-particle: a high-energy electron*β*-particle

**Positron emission**: the loss of a positron**Positron**: a particle that has the same mass as, but an opposite charge to, that of an electron

**Gamma emission**: the loss of a*γ*-ray: high-energy radiation that almost always accompanies the loss of a nuclear particle:*γ*-ray

**Electron capture (K-capture)**: addition of an electron to a proton in the nucleusThe result of this process is that a proton is transformed into a neutron

Nuclear transmutation is a first-order process.

The kinetics of such a process obey this equation:

**ln(***Nt/N*0) =*−kt*Nt is the mass, or number of particles at time t.

No is the original.

The half-life of such a process is

0.693/

*k=t*1/2Comparing the amount of a radioactive nuclide present at a given point in time with the amount normally present, one can find the age of an object.