Radioactive decay dating formula the hub dating site

The only way that this can happen is by changing the number of protons in the nucleus (an element is defined by its number of protons).There are a number of ways that this can happen and when it does, the atom is forever changed.

Statistical probablity is the only thing we can know exactly.

Often students get bogged down in the fact that they don't "understand" how and why radioactive elements decay and miss the whole point of this exercise.

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If they can begin to comprehend that it is random and spontaneous, they end up feeling less nervous about the whole thing.

Radioactive decay involves the spontaneous transformation of one element into another.Remember that a radioisotope has unstable nuclei that does not have enough binding energy to hold the nucleus together.Radioisotopes would like to be stable isotopes so they are constantly changing to try and stabilize.The decay may happen by emission of particles (usually electrons (beta decay), positrons or alpha particles) or by spontaneous nuclear fission, and electron capture.Radioactive decay is the spontaneous breakdown of an atomic nucleus resulting in the release of energy and matter from the nucleus.The radioactive decay and transmutation process will continue until a new element is formed that has a stable nucleus and is not radioactive.

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