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Completing nuclear reactions

  1. Apr 17, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Complete the following nuclear reactions, assuming that the unknown quantity signified by a question mark is a single entry. Use the following table for your answers: 0 = gamma, 1 = p, 2 = alpha , 3 = n.

    (a) 20X43(alpha,?)21X46

    (b) 4X9(?,n)6X12

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
    a) A=46 + 4 - 43 = 7 Z = 21 + 2 - 20 = 3
    b) A=12 + 1 - 9 = 4 Z = 6 + 0 - 4 = 2

    I have NO idea if I'm doing this correct at all.. I'm really just confused about these types of problems, I need some help.. :[
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2009 #2
    Hmm the way you've layed this out is quite confusing, are you referring to periodic table style;

    20
    x
    43

    sort of layout? With 20 being the number of protons & 43 being the number of nucleons?

    Maybe similiar to this? http://education.jlab.org/glossary/alphadecay.gif
     
  4. Apr 18, 2009 #3

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    One has to balance the charge (Z, number of protons) and total number of nucleons A, where A = Z + N, and N = number of neutrons.

    Remember that the alpha particle is 2He4, i.e. 2 protons and a mass of 4 (2 protons + 2 neutrons).


    This (20X43(alpha,?)21X46) =/= (A=46 + 4 - 43 = 7 Z = 21 + 2 - 20 = 3).

    Instead try 20X43 + alpha = ? + 21X46, => Z: 20 + 2 = ? + 21, A: ___________
     
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