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Radioactivity is the spontaneous decomposition of the unstable atomic nuclei to form nuclei with a high stability. The particles and energy released during the decomposition process are called radiation. Radioactivity can occur naturally in the environment or it can be induced in the laboratory.
There are three major types of natural radioactivity, Alpha Radiation, Beta Radiation and Gamma Radiation. These types of radiation can also be induced in a laboratory in order to observe the emission let off. There are other varieties of radioactive decay however they are not as readily studied.

The radioactive decay rates are stated in terms of their half-lives. Different types of radioactivity leads to different decay paths. These different decay paths will convert the nuclei’s into other chemical elements. Radioactive dating occurs by examining the amount of decay product.

Categories within Radioactivity


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A half-life is the time required for the quantity to fall to half its value as measured at the beginning of the time period.

Radiation Risks

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Risks associated with being exposed to radiation.


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An alpha particle is two protons and two neutrons bound together into a particle.


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A beta particle is a high energy and speed particle emitted by certain types of radioactive nucleus.


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A gamma particle is electromagnetic radiation emitted by radioactive decay.

Decay Paths

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A unique sequence of radioactive decay processes and half-lives.

Procedure Behind Quality Assurance for Radiation Therapists

Briefly describe one quality assurance procedure performed by the radiation therapist. Be specific about what the QA procedure is for (what does it check and why is it important to do?), how often it's done and if there are any special instruments needed.

The Atomic Bomb is summarized.

The decision to drop the atomic bomb remains a very controversial one in American and world history. To what degree did fear of Moscow or a desire to intimidate the Soviets factor into this decision? Was the act itself immoral?