Production of Radionuclides

  • Ervin B. PodgoršakEmail author
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


In 1896 Henri Becquerel discovered natural radioactivity and in 1934 Frédéric Joliot and Irène Curie-Joliot discovered artificial radioactivity. Most natural radionuclides are produced through one of four radioactive decay chains, each chain fed by a long-lived and heavy parent radionuclide. The vast majority of currently known radionuclides, however, are man-made and artificially produced through a process of nuclear activation which uses bombardment of a stable nuclide with a suitable energetic particle to induce a nuclear transformation. Various particles or electromagnetic radiation generated by a variety of machines are used for this purpose, most notably neutrons from nuclear reactors for neutron activation and protons from cyclotrons for proton activation.


Neutron Activation Target Nucleus Saturation Model Daughter Nucleus Nuclear Activation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical PhysicsCentre universitaire de santé McGill, McGill University Health CentreMontréalCanada

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