1 The reason why atoms are radioactive because the nucleus’ unstable form is also radioactive. Wherefore, the forces become unbalanced, that provides lots of internal energy in the nucleus. Additionally, the atom’s nucleus could possibly lead to a similar effect of having a spare number of neutrons and protons when the atom becomes unstable. Therefore, when an atom becomes radioactive, its target is to get rid of protons, neutrons and other particles “or by releasing energy in other forms” (ARPANSA).2Radioactive decay is where there is a loss of energy from an unstable atomic nucleus through emitting radiation.
Three main examples of radioactive decay are alpha, beta and gamma.The half-life of a radioactive element or isotope is simply the breakdown of half of the atoms. An example could be carbon where there are 1000 atoms in total and it is expected that half of these atoms (500) will have decayed.The three different types of ionising radiation are alpha, beta and gamma. Alpha particles are made up of two protons and two neutrons. The charge for this is +2 meaning that this has a positive charge.
The properties of this are: high penetration through skin and paper, high ionising power and being heavy which can knock out a particle. A key example of an alpha particle is helium where this has a mass number of 4 and an atomic number of 2 which indicates that helium has two protons and two neutrons. Also, when an alpha particle collides with living body cells, they get damaged through ionisation which then leads to cancer when cells alter. Beta particles