• Question: what is the difference between radiation and radioactivity

    Asked by bryn_ie to William, Thibaut "Tibo", Harry, Georgia, Emily, Aimee on 9 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Georgia Orton

      Georgia Orton answered on 9 Nov 2019:


      A radioactive atom is an atom that is unstable. It releases energy (which we call radiation) to become more stable.

    • Photo: Aimee Egglestone

      Aimee Egglestone answered on 11 Nov 2019: last edited 11 Nov 2019 1:15 pm


      Radioactivity is the measure of an atom breaking down to give a specific type of particle.

      Radiation is any energy release on the electromagnetic spectrum (as colour, heat, microwaves etc).

      So all radioactivity causes radiation, but not all radiation is due to radioactivity.

    • Photo: Thibaut Deviese

      Thibaut Deviese answered on 11 Nov 2019:


      A radiation is an emission of energy while radioactivity is a bit more specific: it is the emission of energy that comes from the breaking up of atoms.

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