Radioactive decay - Radioactive decay Spontaneous change of...

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Radioactive decay Spontaneous change of an unstable atom Caused by the emission of neutrons and protons, or the capture or loss of an electron by the nucleus Atoms seek to gain stability Isotopes and radioactive decay Dating depends on the decay of radioactive isotopes Decay means that the atom changes—often creating a different element The decaying isotope is known as the parent isotope By decay the parent isotope forms a daughter isotope Using isotopes to calculate ages When magma cools, parent isotopes are incorporated into minerals—there are no daughter isotopes present in that mineral Half-life o the time it takes for one-half of the atoms of the parent to decay into daughter atoms o Start with 1000 atoms, after one half-life we will have 500 parent atoms and 500 daughter atoms, after two half-lifes we will have 250 parent atoms and 750 daughter atoms, etc. o
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Radioactive decay - Radioactive decay Spontaneous change of...

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