decay
  • noun the formation of dental caries in teeth
  • noun the process of breaking into pieces
  • A gradual decrease in the magnitude of a quantity, such as current, voltage, luminescence, or magnetic flux.
  • The spontaneous disintegration of unstable atomic nuclei, such as those of uranium or curium, mainly through the emission of alpha, beta, or gamma rays. Also called disintegration (2), or radioactivity (1).
  • A specific instance of decay (2), such as that occurring when an atom of uranium-238 emits an alpha particle to form an atom of thorium-234. Also called disintegration (3), or radioactivity (2).
  • The reduction over time of the radioactivity of a substance, due to decay (2). Also called disintegration (4), or radioactivity (3).
  • synonym disintegration
  • To break into smaller entities, or into constituent components.

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