For a substance to be radioactive?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Jeramie Stracke
Score: 4.6/5 (24 votes)

A radioactive substance is unstable and produces dangerous kinds of radiation. It goes into the radiation that is produced. ... Radioactive substances are continually producing three kinds of dangerous radiation: alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays.

What is a radioactive substance give some examples?

For example, uranium and thorium are two radioactive elements found naturally in the Earth's crust. Over billions of years, these two elements slowly change form and produce decay products such as radium and radon. During this process, energy is released. One form of this energy is alpha radiation.

How do elements become radioactive?

What causes atoms to be radioactive? ... An atom is unstable (radioactive) if these forces are unbalanced; if the nucleus has an excess of internal energy. Instability of an atom's nucleus may result from an excess of either neutrons or protons.

What is the most powerful radioactive element?

The radioactivity of radium then must be enormous. This substance is the most radioactive natural element, a million times more so than uranium.

What are the 3 types of radioactive decay?

A material containing unstable nuclei is considered radioactive. Three of the most common types of decay are alpha decay (?-decay), beta decay (?-decay), and gamma decay (?-decay), all of which involve emitting one or more particles.

What Makes Something Radioactive?

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How do you know if a substance is radioactive?

A substance is said to be radioactive if it contains unstable nuclei and is able to naturally release energy in the process of shedding high speed charged particles, in an attempt to reach a stable state. With this, a non-radioactive substance will remain intact indefinitely unless acted upon by an external force.

What are the main features of a radioactive substance?

A radioactive substance is unstable and produces dangerous kinds of radiation. It is unstable because the strong nuclear force that holds the nucleus of the atom together is not balanced with the electric force that wants to push it apart. Because it's unstable, the atoms will decay into more stable ones.

What does it mean if a substance is radioactive?

Radioactive substances are atoms that decay naturally. They can give off alpha particles, beta particles and gamma radiation. Unlike X-ray sources they cannot be turned off, so their control is more difficult.

What are 2 major types of nuclear reactions?

The two general kinds of nuclear reactions are nuclear decay reactions and nuclear transmutation reactions. In a nuclear decay reaction, also called radioactive decay, an unstable nucleus emits radiation and is transformed into the nucleus of one or more other elements.

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 gives off radiation in the home?

In homes and buildings, there are radioactive elements in the air. These radioactive elements are radon (Radon 222), thoron (Radon 220) and by products formed by the decay of radium (Radium 226) and thorium present in many sorts of rocks, other building materials and in the soil.

What are the 14 daughters of uranium?

Beginning with naturally occurring uranium-238, this series includes the following elements: astatine, bismuth, lead, polonium, protactinium, radium, radon, thallium, and thorium. All are present, at least transiently, in any natural uranium-containing sample, whether metal, compound, or mineral.

Is radon a form of radiation?

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when uranium, thorium, or radium, which are radioactive metals break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes.

Which is the rarest element on the Earth?

A team of researchers using the ISOLDE nuclear-physics facility at CERN has measured for the first time the so-called electron affinity of the chemical element astatine, the rarest naturally occurring element on Earth.

Which fruit is most radioactive?

Bananas. You probably already knew that bananas are loaded with potassium. But bananas also happen to be one of the most radioactive foods because they contain the isotope potassium-40. Thanks to this isotope, everyone's favorite yellow fruit emits a tiny amount of radiation.

What are 3 examples of natural sources of radiation humans are exposed to?

Natural radiation sources
  • Cosmic radiation. The earth's outer atmosphere is continually bombarded by cosmic radiation. ...
  • Terrestrial radiation. The composition of the earth's crust is a major source of natural radiation. ...
  • Inhalation. ...
  • Ingestion. ...
  • Natural radiation doses. ...
  • Cosmic radiation. ...
  • Terrestrial radiation. ...
  • Inhalation.

How can you protect yourself from radiation?

In general, alpha, beta, gamma and x-ray radiation can be stopped by:
  1. Keeping the time of exposure to a minimum,
  2. Maintaining distance from the source,
  3. When appropriate, placing a shield between yourself and the source, and.
  4. Protecting yourself against radioactive contamination by using proper protective clothing.

What is the unit of radioactive decay?

The number of decays per second, or activity, from a sample of radioactive nuclei is measured in becquerel (Bq), after Henri Becquerel. One decay per second equals one becquerel.

What are five things radiation can do to the human body?

Let's do a head-to-toe walk-through to investigate how high doses of radiation can damage the human body.
  • Brain. Nerve cells (neurons) and brain blood vessels can die, leading to seizures.
  • Eyes. Radiation exposure increases the risk of cataracts.
  • Thyroid. ...
  • Lungs. ...
  • Heart. ...
  • GI tract. ...
  • Reproductive organs. ...
  • Skin.

What are the 7 types of radiation?

This range is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. The EM spectrum is generally divided into seven regions, in order of decreasing wavelength and increasing energy and frequency. The common designations are: radio waves, microwaves, infrared (IR), visible light, ultraviolet (UV), X-rays and gamma rays.

What type of radiation is harmful?

Alpha particles are the most harmful internal hazard as compared with gamma rays and beta particles. Radioactive materials that emit alpha and beta particles are most harmful when swallowed, inhaled, absorbed, or injected. Gamma rays are the most harmful external hazard.

What are the 4 types of radiation?

There are four major types of radiation: alpha, beta, neutrons, and electromagnetic waves such as gamma rays. They differ in mass, energy and how deeply they penetrate people and objects. The first is an alpha particle.