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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co.
These isotopes are stable, which is why they are with us today, but unstable isotopes are also present in minute amounts.
These are also highly energetic and will ionize atoms, transmute nuclei, and generate x-rays themselves.
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The BNL team found that over that period the decay constant of silicon–32 — relative to a long-lived standard — modulated around its usual value of about 172 years by the order of 0.1%.
What is more, the modulation appeared to be almost in phase with the varying distance of the Earth to the Sun: in January, when the Earth is closest, the decay rate was faster; in July, when the Earth is farthest, it was slower.