When the daughter decays, the daughter of that decay is also radioactive.And so it goes until a stable atom of lead appears at the end of the decay chain or decay series.
So can thermal energy (heat), which is a type of physical assault.Some rock crystals can form and last for long periods, like millions or billions of years.Also produced in the decay of uranium and its daughters is helium. That's because uranium and its daughters transform via alpha decay.And alpha decay, as we know, is the emission of an alpha particle, which is a helium-4 nucleus.And you know that an alpha particle is a pair of protons and a pair of neutrons -- a helium-4 nucleus.
All that alpha decay is the source of helium in zircon crystals.
Imagine a room full of people holding hand and having their arms interlocked in various ways. But the crystal matrix can be prone to attack by different materials, substances or circumstances.
Physical and chemical exposure can alter the crystal structure of the rock over time.
This might get a little long-winded, but it really isn't that difficult to understand when taken in moderate bites.
We've said grace, so tuck in your napkin and grab your fork.
That crystal matrix has also taken some damage from all that alpha decay, too.