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Radiochemistry is the study of the chemical effects of high-energy radiation and the behavior of radioactive isotopes, atoms of the same element that vary in the number of neutrons they contain.

For example, the heaviest known element, Element 112 (ununbium, or Uub) was first created by scientists at the Heavy-Ion Research Laboratory in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1996. These scientists created an atom of ununbium containing 165 neutrons, labeled ununbium-277 (112 protons + 165 neutrons = ununbium-277). Because the ununbium nucleus contains so many particles, the atom becomes unstable and splits into smaller, so-called daughter components. As the atom breaks apart, energy is released in the form of electromagnetic waves and electrically charged bits of matter. This energy is known as radiation (Radioactivity; Nuclear Energy).