Electron mass conversion during electron capture

In summary, electron capture is a process in which a proton turns into a neutron and a neutrino is emitted. While the conversion of mass into energy in the form of gamma radiation is possible, it is unlikely as the energy is mostly absorbed by the neutrino. The energy release in this process occurs when electrons from outer shells fill the vacancy left by the captured electron.
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In electron capture, a proton turns into a neutron and a neutrino is emitted. Is (without counting the mass difference between neutron and proton and the mass of the neutrino) the mass of the electron converted into energy in the form of gamma radiation?
 
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The emission of a photon is possible but unlikely. Usually all the energy goes to the neutrino (a tiny bit goes into recoil of the nucleus).
 
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That said, what happens after electron capture is that there is an opening in one of the inner shells. As an electron from an outer shell drops into that orbit, there is an energy release either by radiating a photon or by ejecting another outer shell electron from the atom (thus ionising the atom).
 
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Related to Electron mass conversion during electron capture

1. What is electron capture?

Electron capture is a type of radioactive decay process in which an electron from the innermost energy level of an atom is absorbed by the nucleus, resulting in a decrease in the atomic number and the emission of a neutrino.

2. How does electron capture affect the mass of an atom?

During electron capture, the mass of the atom decreases by one atomic mass unit, as the conversion of an electron into a neutron results in the loss of one proton from the nucleus.

3. What is the relationship between the electron mass and the mass of an atom during electron capture?

The mass of an electron is significantly smaller than the mass of a proton or neutron, so the conversion of an electron into a neutron during electron capture does not significantly affect the overall mass of the atom.

4. Can electron capture occur in all elements?

No, electron capture can only occur in elements with a high enough ratio of protons to neutrons in the nucleus. Elements with a low atomic number, such as hydrogen and helium, do not undergo electron capture.

5. What is the significance of electron capture in nuclear reactions?

Electron capture plays an important role in the stability of certain radioactive isotopes and can also be used in nuclear reactions to produce different elements. It is also used in medical imaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography (PET), to study the behavior of atoms and molecules in the body.

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