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Homework Help: Beta decay

  1. May 22, 2005 #1
    Suppose that the fermium-252 nucleus could undergo a decay in which a (beta-) particle was produced. How would this affect the atomic number of the nucleus? Explain briefly.

    This looks pretty easy, but I think it's trying to trick you. Thank you for helping.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2005 #2


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    I don't think so...The answer should be pretty easy.

  4. May 22, 2005 #3
    Ok , first of all you should know that beta particle is either an electron or a positron.

    But generally by beta decay we mean an electron or positron.Therefor ethe atomic number of the element undergoing the decay will either end up 1) lowering its atomic number if its a positron being emitted and 2) elevating its atomic number by 1 if its an electron its emitting.

    And one thing more, you should note that in a B-decay , when an electron is emitted an antinuetrino is always em,itted which is a kind of radiation and when a positron is emitted , a nuetrino particle is always emitted.
  5. May 23, 2005 #4
    Thanks alot.
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