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Understanding products of triated water decay

by Decimator
Tags: decay, products, triated, water
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Mar20-14, 03:47 PM
P: 39
Figured this was more a chemistry question than nuclear question, so I put it here.

When an atom of tritium in [itex]^{3}_{1}H[/itex][itex]_{2}O[/itex] decays, it becomes [itex]^{3}_{2}He[/itex][itex]^{1+}[/itex] + [itex]e^{-}[/itex] + [itex]^{3}_{1}HO[/itex]

This then quickly becomes [itex]^{3}_{2}He[/itex] + [itex]^{3}_{1}HO[/itex]

I'm a little confused about the hydroxide. It needs another electron, so it's...positively charged? Anything else I have wrong?
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Mar21-14, 12:31 PM
P: 39
And I just now realized I misspelled "Tritiated" in the title.

Mar21-14, 03:13 PM
Borek's Avatar
P: 23,385
These are rather difficult things to predict. Note that both products of the fission are quite energetic and they both jump away from the initial point, ionizing water around. In the end it will all come to some kind of rest/equilibrium, but exact mechanism can take many paths.

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