# Are the number of electrons on both sides of the radioactive decay balanced?

## Homework Statement

Are the number of electrons on both sides of the radioactive decay balanced?

## Homework Equations

For example, consider an alpha decay.
ZPAZ-2DA-4 + 2He4
For P,
Number of Neutrons = A - Z
Number of Protons = Z
Number of Electrons = Z
For D,
Number of Neutrons = [A - 4] - [Z - 2] = A - 4 - Z + 2 = A - Z - 2
Number of Protons = Z - 2
Number of Electrons = Z - 2
For He (nucleus),
Number of Neutrons = 2
Number of Protons = 2
Number of Electrons = 0

## The Attempt at a Solution

Now, the number of neutrons
on left side = A - Z
on right side = [A - Z - 2] + 2 = A - Z

the number of protons
on left side = Z
on right side = [Z - 2] + 2= Z

the number of electrons
on left side = Z
on right side = [Z - 2] + 0 = Z - 2

It can be clearly seen that the number of electrons on both sides of an alpha decay are not balanced.
So what happened to those missing electrons?

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SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
Why do you say that the number of electrons is not balanced before and after the emission of the alpha particle?

because there are z electrons before the emission
but there are only z-2 electrons after the emission

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SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
because there are z electrons before the emission
but there are only z-2 electrons after the emission
What's to keep the alpha particle from picking up the "extra" electrons?

We know that the alpha particle comes from the nucleus of the parent atom. so the daughter must have 4 nucleons (2 protons and 2 neutrons) lesser than the parent.
but the alpha particle does not contain any electron. so the daughter must have the same number of electrons which the parent had.
so the daughter must be an negatively charged ion with 2 additional electrons. instead it is a neutral atom which may or may not be stable. how?

What's to keep the alpha particle from picking up the "extra" electrons?
sorry i'm not able to understand your question

SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
sorry i'm not able to understand your question
You say there's two electrons which allegedly go missing from the original element after it decays by emitting an alpha particle.

What happens to these electrons which are allegedly missing? Do they vanish into thin air? Do they move to Phoenix?

What's to keep them from being captured by the alpha particle, which has a charge of +2 when it is emitted from the nucleus of the decaying element?

I'm also asking the same question - Where did these 2 electrons go?

And if the emitted alpha particle captures these extra electrons, it must get neutralized before it comes out of the atom. So we should have detected uncharged radiations only. but we detect positvely charged radiations only. This shows that the alpha particle doesn't capture those electrons. So, where did these electrons go?

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SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
I'm also asking the same question - Where did these 2 electrons go?
Maybe these guys can tell you:

Maybe these guys can tell you:

i joined in this forum hoping that you guys might clear my doubt

SteamKing
Staff Emeritus