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Why do radioactive isotopes not instantly decay?

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There are all kinds of isotopes that have several types of decay. The decay is instant, because this is a random process[1]. However, the average rate/chance on which this happens is not random, and is measured in what is called a “half-life”. read more

For the same reason you don’t instantly do everything you’re inclined to. Depending on how eager you are to do it, it may take you a while to get around to it. The only difference is that radioactive isotopes don’t make up excuses involving “good reasons”. read more

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