How does artificial transmutation differ from nuclear decay?

1 Answer
Aug 7, 2017

Artificial transmutation requires the use of a particle generator like a cyclotron to transmute elements, while nuclear decay is the naturally occurring decay of an element into constituent elements.


Nuclear decay has been going on from the beginning of the universe with the "big bang" that started it all. It is a natural process where heavier, unstable elements formed in huge explosions subsequently decay into lighter, more stable elements. Nuclear decay is a naturally occurring event.

Artificial transmutation occurs when an existing element is collided with high speed particles to form another radioactive element. This process was not discovered until the early 1900's. Artificial transmutation requires science and expensive equipment and is a human engineered process.

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