UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Do all atoms decay? I know "radioactive" atoms do of course, but I don't really understand how some atoms could decay, while others don't.
Question Date: 2001-05-11
Answer 1:

I believe that most atoms are pretty stable. The ones that do decay (radioactive) usually have some sort of imbalance between the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus and the energetics inside the nucleus are such that it is relatively easy for it to break apart.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use