Rupp, Arthur F. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
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A radioactive isotope (as distinguished from a stable isotope) of an element. Atomic nuclei are of two types, unstable and stable. Those in the former category are said to be radioactive and eventually are transformed, by radioactive decay, into the latter. One of the three types of particles or radiation (alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays) is emitted during each stage of the decay. See also: Isotope; Radioactivity
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