Radioactive decay #1

Contrary to popular opinion, radiation is a natural phenomenon. It was discovered in 1896 by A.H. Becquerel who was studying the fluorescent properties of uranium salts.

We identify 3 distinct types of radioactive decay. Each type of decay liberates a large amount of energy:

  1. Alpha radiation: the emission of a helium nucleus.
  2. Beta (+ and -) radiation: the emission of either an electron (beta-) or a positron (beta+).
  3. Gamma emission: the liberation of a high-energy photon.