What is Radiation?
Radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels through space at the speed of light. This energy has an electric field and a magnetic field associated with it, and has wave-like properties. You could also call radiation “electromagnetic waves”.
Properties of Radioactive Isotopes
- Radioactive atoms can give off four types of ionizing radiation: alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, and neutrons.
- Each type of radiation has different properties that affect how we can detect it and how it can affect us.
- Radioactive decay happens when an unstable atom gives off radiation and changes into a more stable atom of a different element.
- The length of time it takes for half of the radioactive atoms in a group of radioactive isotopes to decay is called a half-life.
- Page last reviewed: December 7, 2015
- Page last updated: December 7, 2015
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