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Pursuing this analogy further, one would expect that a new basket of apples would have no oranges but that an older one would have many.

For that we can thank radioactivity, discovered at the turn of the last century.

The boat of a pharaoh was discovered in a sealed crypt and reassembled in a museum near the pyramids (see Fig. The age of our galaxy and earth also can be estimated using radioactive dating.

Using the decays of uranium and thorium, our galaxy has been found to be between 10 and 20 billion years old and the earth has been found to be 4.6 billion years old. Within experimental error, this estimate agrees with the 15 billion year estimate of the age of the Universe.

The particles given off during the decay process are part of a profound fundamental change in the nucleus.

To compensate for the loss of mass (and energy), the radioactive atom undergoes internal transformation and in most cases simply becomes an atom of a different chemical element.

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