Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Alpha and proton decay

  1. Apr 22, 2014 #1
    All nuclei with A > 210 are alpha emitters, yet very few emit protons spontaneously.
    Yet both decays lower the Coulomb energy of the nucleus. Why is
    proton decay not more common?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2015 Award

    Look at the binding energy curve.
     
  4. Apr 22, 2014 #3

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Some of these nuclei undergo beta decay, not alpha.
     
  5. Apr 25, 2014 #4
    The binding energy of alpha particles means more energy available to make the decay happen -- it happens by quantum-mechanical tunneling.

    I could dig up the alpha decay rate if anyone is interested - it also works for protons.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Alpha and proton decay
  1. Protons decaying (Replies: 2)

  2. Alpha-decay of uranium (Replies: 2)

  3. Alpha Particle decay (Replies: 2)

  4. Proton Decay (Replies: 13)

  5. Proton decay (Replies: 5)

Loading...