C14 DECAY

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

How Carbon-14 effectively gains a proton but no electrons when decaying to Nitrogen-14....?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
When one of the carbon's neutrons decays into a proton and a high-energy electron that is emitted as a beta particle, that leaves a nitrogen atom of 7 protons, 7 neutrons and 6 electrons by my reckoning. Where does the 7th electron come from? All answers will be gratefully received. Thanks!
 
  • #3
e.bar.goum
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
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The decay of 14C leaves 14N in an ionized state, that is, lacking an electron. It'll grab an electron from a nearby atom.
 

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