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Radioisotopes would like to be stable isotopes so they are constantly changing to try and stabilize.In the process, they will release energy and matter from their nucleus and often transform into a new element.A nucleus (or any excited system in quantum mechanics) is unstable, and can thus spontaneously stabilize to a less-excited system.This process is driven by entropy considerations: The energy does not change, but at the end of the process, the total energy is more diffused in spacial volume.Radioactive decay is the spontaneous breakdown of an atomic nucleus resulting in the release of energy and matter from the nucleus.
However, it soon became clear that the blackening of the plate had nothing to do with phosphorescence because the plate blackened when the mineral was kept in the dark.
This process, called transmutation, is the change of one element into another as a result of changes within the nucleus.
The radioactive decay and transmutation process will continue until a new element is formed that has a stable nucleus and is not radioactive.
The SI unit of radioactive decay (the phenomenon of natural and artificial radioactivity) is the becquerel (Bq).
One Bq is defined as one transformation (or decay) per second.
The resulting transformation alters the structure of the nucleus.