Table of Contents
What are the characteristics of a radioactive atom?
The nucleus of a radioactive element is unstable. The nucleus will break down over time, reducing the amount of the element remaining. This disintegration occurs naturally and does not need an outside stimulus to occur. All man-made elements are radioactive and break down.
What is radioactivity in an atom?
Radioactivity is the property of some unstable atoms (radionuclides) to spontaneously emit nuclear radiation, usually alpha particles or beta particles often accompanied by gamma-rays.
What is the structure of a radioactive atom?
It consists of a nucleus containing a positively charge proton around which a single negatively charged electron orbits. The Helium atom contains two positively charge protons and 2 uncharged neutrons in the nucleus.
Why are some atoms described as radioactive?
Why some elements are radioactive (unstable). When the atoms of an element have extra neutrons or protons it creates extra energy in the nucleus and causes the atom to become unbalanced or unstable. Whether radioactive elements can become stable and if so, how. The unstable nucleus of radioactive atoms emit radiation.
Are all radioactive elements harmful?
Those elements are dangerous because they are made up of atoms with unstable centers, or nuclei. Seeking greater stability, they constantly emit energy as radiation, in the form of waves like gamma rays or X-rays, and as particles smaller than atoms.
What are the uses of radioactive elements?
The radioactive elements uranium and plutonium are used in the generation of electricity in nuclear power plants. Small radiactive sources of particles are used in many home smoke detectors. These elements are also used in the production of nuclear weapons.
What are the 5 types of radioactive decay?
The most common types of radioactivity are α decay, β decay, γ emission, positron emission, and electron capture. Nuclear reactions also often involve γ rays, and some nuclei decay by electron capture. Each of these modes of decay leads to the formation of a new nucleus with a more stable n:p. ratio.
What are the 3 types of radioactivity?
The three most common types of radiation are alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays.
What is atom with diagram?
Atomic diagrams were developed to explain the interaction of the elements of the Earth and space long before atoms could be observed. Nowadays, scientists can see particles that are smaller than an atom. An atom consists of three main parts: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons have a positive electrical charge.
Is atom electrically neutral?
So an atom as a whole is electrically neutral. When one or more electrons is stripped away from an atom, it becomes positively charged. Some atoms can attract additional electrons so they become negatively charged. Atoms which are not electrically neutral are called ions.
What is an unstable atom called?
These atoms are said to be ‘unstable’ or ‘radioactive’. This is called ‘radioactive decay’. Each element exists in the form of atoms with several different sized nuclei, called isotopes. Unstable isotopes (which are thus radioactive) are called radioisotopes. Some elements, eg uranium, have no stable isotopes.
Are bananas radioactive?
A banana contains about 450 mg of potassium, and when eaten exposes the consumer to about 0.01 mrem due to its K-40 content. For comparison, a chest x-ray delivers 10 mrem. A quick calculation (10/. So, while bananas are indeed radioactive, the dose of radioactivity they deliver does not pose a risk.