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gamma decay

noun, Physics.
type of radioactivity in which an unstable atomic nucleus dissipates energy by gamma emission, producing gamma rays. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gamma decay
  • Alpha and beta decay are almost always accompanied by gamma decay.
  • gamma decay is the release of energy in the form of gamma rays.
  • In a gamma decay, a high energy photon is emitted from the nucleus to attain a lower energy configuration.
  • In the gamma decay of a nucleus, the emitted photon and recoiling nucleus each have a well-defined energy after the decay.
  • For example, there is not beryllium yield from fission or from any alpha, beta or gamma decay.
gamma decay in Science
gamma decay  
A radioactive process in which an atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting a gamma ray (a stream of high-energy photons). When an element undergoes gamma decay its atomic number and mass number do not change.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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