Radioactive Decay

What type of nuclear decay releases energy but not a particles?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2011-05-26 18:43:56

All nuclear decay releases both energy and particles. Even gamma

rays from the meta stable decay of Technetium-99m, being only

photons, are particles, because a photon is considered a particle -

or is it energy? - or is it mass? - hmmm? - see quantum mechanics

on that one.

Also, Einsten's famous mass energy equivalence equation e = mc2

states rather plainly that energy is mass and mass is energy. That

means that if nuclear decay releases energy, then it also releases

mass, and vice versa. There is no way around the equivalence.

Do not misunderstand this. The equation does not mean

that energy can be converted into mass or vice versa, it means that

energy is mass and vice versa. Neither energy nor mass can

be created nor destroyed. So, when an atomic bomb goes off and

loses mass generating a high amount of energy, the mass that is

lost is simply carried away with the energy.

Sorry if it seems I deviated from the topic, but I did not. This

is part of reinforcing the answer and enhancing the

explanation.


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.