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Alpha Radiation

  1. Jan 12, 2009 #1
    In atomic decay, when an atom decays and releases the (Alpha) Helium nucleus, the atom left behind changes to the element 2 Proton Numbers prior. So is this new element charged? because the electrons stay behind, or do they go? and if so, where to and how?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2009 #2


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    I'd like to know the answer to this, too! :smile:

    Answer, someone? :rolleyes:
  4. Jan 23, 2009 #3
    I am assuming that the nucleus of the new element cannot hold on to the two electrons for very long.As the alpha particle travels through matter there is continual ionisation of atoms followed by electron recombination two of these electrons,presumably,coming from the parent atom.It all balances in the end because at the end of its range when the alpha particle has lost so much energy that it is no longer able to ionise it will pick up two electrons and change to a helium gas atom.
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