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B2 Ch 3 Lesson 5

Radioactive Elements

Radioactive Decay The process in which radioactive elements break down, releasing fast-moving particles and energy.
Nuclear Reaction A reaction involving the particles in the nucleus of an atom that can change one element into another element.
Radioactivity The spontaneous emission of radiation by an unstable atomic nucleus.
Alpha Particle A particle given off during radioactive decay that consists of two protons and two neutrons.
Beta Particle A fast-moving electron that is given off as nuclear radiation.
Gamma Ray Electromagnetic waves with the shortest wavelengths and highest frequencies.
Half-life The time it takes for half of the atoms of a radioactive element to decay.
Radioactive Dating The process of determining the age of an object using the half-life of one or more radioactive isotopes.
Tracer A radioactive isotope that can be followed through the steps of a chemical reaction or industrial process.
Created by: Juchrin