- 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 decay (2).
- A specific instance of radioactivity (1), such as that occurring when an atom of uranium-238 emits an alpha particle to form an atom of thorium-234. Also called decay (3).
- The reduction over time of the radioactivity of a substance, due to radioactivity (1). Also called decay (4).
- synonym radioactive decay
- synonym radioactive disintegration
- noun a gradual disintegration of the nucleus of radioactive matter
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