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The phenomenon of spontaneous emission of radiations by heavy elements is called radioactivity. The elements which shows this phenomenon are called radioactive elements.
  • Radioactivity was discovered by Henery Becquerel in uranium salt in the year 1896.
  • After the discovery of radioactivity in uranium, Piere Curie and Madame Curie discovered a new radioactive element called radium (which is 106 times more radioactive than uranium)
  • Some examples of radio active substances are: uranium, radium, thorium, polonium, neptunium, etc.
  • Radioactivity of a sample cannot be controlled by any physical (pressure, temperature, electric or magnetic field) or chemical changes.
  • All the elements with atomic number (Z) > 82 are naturally radioactive.
  • The conversion of lighter elements into radioactive elements by the bombardment of fast moving particles is called artificial or induced radioactivity.
  • Radioactivity is a nuclear event and not atomic. Hence electronic configuration of atom don’t have any relationship with radioactivity.

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