Questions tagged [radioactivity]

Questions relating to radioactive substances and the chemistry of radioactivity. Also, use [rare-earth-elements] if the question is about their radioactivity specifically.

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What chemical elements does a nuclear explosion release into its mushroom cloud?

I'm interested in the mushroom cloud produced by a nuclear explosion: What is it made of? I know that the uranium fission reaction is the following (from this web page) $$\ce{{}^{235}U + {}^1_0n -&...
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Nuclear Testing and Carbon Dating

Will the nuclear testing done during the past decades or if a nuclear war happened in the present day, affect the accuracy of carbon dating in the future? (Hypothetically, we haven't developed a ...
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Are there any magnetic particles that are safe to inhale?

In medicine, there is an (old?) experiment where a subject is asked to inhale radioactive Xenon gas, and radiation counters are placed at different positions near the lungs. Using this experiment, it ...
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On the stability of deuterium

The isotope of hydrogen, tritium, is indeed radioactive resulting in $\ce{^3He}$ through beta decay. But what of the radioactively 'stable' isotope deuterium? Are all deuterium atoms destined to be ...
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Stability variation in heavy nuclei

The heavier the atom, the more unstable it gets, right? That is not true about Uranium and we know it. I wondered why. A brief explanation stated that since more neutrons are there in the nucleus ...
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Does radioactivity affect chemical reactions?

Do compounds of radioactive elements show a different behaviour? What happens when the radioactive part of the given compound decays? e.g. Radium chloride; what happens to it when radium decays?
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If radium has such a long half-life, how can radon possibly be a threat to us?

If the probability is so low that a radium atom will decay into radon at any given time (the half-life is over 1600 years), then there will be a low amount of radon produced, granted it will be ...
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What makes elements radioactive?

I know that certain elements like plutonium and certain isotopes of caesium are radioactive but what gives them this ability? If it's their electron/proton/neutron arrangement, what makes that ...
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Why does radioactive decay occur?

Is there a reason radioactive decay is exponential, as in after an extremely long time some of the original compound remains, or is this just an empirical model? Also, why does $\ce{^{238}U}$ have a ...
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Radioactivity and Kinetics of disintegration

Well I've just started on kinetics and there are a few things I am absolutely confused about! First of all, is a neutron actually made up of a proton and electron? If yes, then how is this possible? ...
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Are radioactive isotopes of silver dangerous?

I know we all think of things like uranium as being radioactive in the nasty radiation poisoning sort of way. But do elements like silver have similar effects in their radioactive isotopes? I'm an ...
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Turn lead into gold via radioactive decay

I was looking at the isotope's table and noticed that one of lead's isotopes can actually turn into stable gold through the following mechanism: $$\ce{_{82}^{197}Pb -> _{81}^{197}Tl -> _{80}^{...
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Why isn't neptunium used in nuclear reactors in nuclear power plants?

Why isn't neptunium used in nuclear reactors in nuclear power plants? Uranium is, and plutonium is. But neptunium isn't and it is in the middle of them. Is it like it is too hard to make it do ...
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Final amount of Hg present after $\beta$ decay

I have been trying to solve an exercise on nuclear chemistry, but I was not sure whether I should ask this on physics or chemistry but I think that if chemistry had an exercise based on this then ...
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Understanding Beta Decay

Reading Wikipedia on "Beta Decay" they list the equation of Carbon-14 decaying into N-14. see equation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_decay I presume the 14 refers to total protons and neutrons. ...
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What is a product of water ionization?

I've read that radioactive compounds are dangerous because they emit electromagnetic waves (gamma-radiation etc.) that are dangerous for living organisms because they can ionize atoms in molecules. ...
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Types of radioactive decay

Besides alpha, beta, and gamma, are there any other types of radioactive decay? If so, what are they? Is there any type of radioactive decay that is more powerful than gamma?
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What does HTO decay into?

I'm aware that tritium undergoes beta decay forming Helium-3. But in the case of HTO, what does it decay into? I don't suppose it decays into HeHO.

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