# Beta Decay and Charge

Okay, so one of my hall mates across the way asked this question about his Chemistry, and then I realised that I wasn't too sure why it was myself, so I figured I'd pass this on to you.

Take the decay equation

$${}^{24}_{11}Na \rightarrow {}^{24}_{12}Mg + {}^0_{-1}\beta$$

His question pertained to the overall charge of the nuclide in question. He mentioned that since a neutron is converting to a proton, there should be a net charge of +1 now on the Magnesium (since the ${}^{0}_{-1}\beta$ comes from the conversion of a netron into the proton, that doesn't get factored in). Is it just that the charge is irrelevant to the decay that it's not bothered to be included?

## Answers and Replies

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Janitor
A minor point is that the right side should also have an antineutrino. Physically speaking, the newly formed magnesium atom is likely to be a +1 ion for a while, the amount of time it takes to neutralize depending on its environment. But I think when they write $${}^{24}_{12}Mg$$, the context is understood to be the nucleus itself, not the atom as a whole.