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A Note On Radioactive Materials And Their Measurements

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Chapter Summary

This section presents a note on radioactive materials and their measurements. Radioactive decay occurs when an unstable atom loses energy by emitting particles and gamma radiation or by spontaneously fissioning. The activity of a radioactive sample is simply the rate of radioactive decay, expressed as the number of decays per unit time. According to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (which has the final word on international nomenclature), in recognition of the fact that the units of measurements are derived from the proper names of persons, the first letter of the symbol is uppercase (Bq), but the unit spelled out in English begins with a lower case letter (becquerel) unless it appears at the beginning of the sentence or another place where capitalization would be proper for any word.

Keywords: gamma radiation; radioactive materials



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