Radioactivity

Spontaneous nuclear transformations that result in the formation of new elements. These transformations are accomplished by emission of alpha or beta particles from the nucleus or by the capture of an orbital electron. Each of these reactions may or may not be accompanied by a gamma photon.

  • Radioactivity, Artificial—Man-made radioactivity produced by particle bombardment or nuclear fission, as opposed to naturally occurring radioactivity.
  • Radioactivity, Induced—Radioactivity produced in a substance after bombardment with neutrons or other particles. The resulting activity is "natural radioactivity" if formed by nuclear reactions occurring in nature and "artificial radioactivity" if the reactions are caused by man.
  • Radioactivity, Natural—The property of radioactivity exhibited by more than 50 naturally occurring radionuclides.