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Gamma Decay

Radioactive decay that results in the release of high-energy waves instead of particles.

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That Strange Post-Exercise Feeling

A heat wave coming out of our bodies after we exercise? 

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Weight lifting at the gym, emitting energy just like the emission of photons [Figure1]

Gamma decay, unlike alpha or beta decay, is a process that doesn’t involve the loss of protons, electrons, or neutrons. In gamma decay, the nucleus changes from a high energy state to lower energy state by emitting a high-energy particle called a photon. Therefore, after a gamma decay, the atomic mass of the nucleus remains the same.

Every time you finish working out, you would feel that there is almost a heat wave coming from the inside out, making your skin much cooler. However, you would still weigh the same as before you started working out.

Creative Applications

1. What does the heat wave coming from the inside out represent in terms of gamma decay?

2. Why is it that our skin would feel much cooler? Answer this in the language of gamma decay.

3. What does the fact that we weigh the same illustrate about the working out process?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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