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Homework Help: Atom charge after ionizing (nuclei/particle) radiation

  1. May 2, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    When an instable atom emits alpha or beta particles. Doesn't the overal electrical charge of the remaining atom change? For example when an atom emits alpha decay, a helium core is emitted, this results in the lose of two protons (forthe radiating atom). But doens't this mean the atom became an ion, because it has 2 elektrons 'to much' (more than protons). And when it emits beta radiation. It forms an extra proton, so doesn't this make the atom a positive ion? And when this happens, does the atom remain an ion or??

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have no idea:wink:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2016 #2
    in alpha deacay the parent say 238U goes to thorium the daughter nucleus and an alpha particle -in this the charge and particle number conservation is obeyed. Thorium has 90 protons whereas U has 92 and the He has those two protons , the process is nuclear so no ionised Uranium is there.
    Similarly in beta decay -as electron is not present in the nucleus in this process one neutron gets converted to proton and charge conservation is obeyed; as an example
    40 K is a beta emitter(z-19) than the product is 40 Ca with Z value 20 and a beta particle i.e. electron.
    the events are at energies where the atomic electrons/cheges do not have any role.( energies are of the order of MeV in nuclear reaction) whereas in atomic phenomena its of the order of eV or kev.
  4. May 3, 2016 #3
    So the elektrons are just emittes in a chemical reaction with low energies?
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