Radioactive Decay - Natural Origin

Natural Origin

Primordial nuclides found in the earth are residues from ancient supernova explosions which occurred before the formation of the solar system. They are the long-lived fraction of radionuclides surviving in the primordial solar nebula through planet accretion until the present. The naturally occurring short-lived radiogenic radionuclides found in rocks are the daughters of these radiactive primordial nuclides. Another minor source of naturally occurring radioactive nuclides are cosmogenic nuclides, formed by cosmic ray bombardment of material in the Earth's atmosphere or crust. For a summary table showing the number of stable nuclides and of radioactive nuclides in each category, see radionuclide. Radionuclides can also be produced artificially e.g. using particle accelerators or nuclear reactors.

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