Gamma Ray Emission

  1. Why in gamma ray emission there is no change in A or Z ?

    We know that in Alpha decay 2 protons and 2 neutrons are subtracted from the element. and in Beta decay there is change in atomic number by + or - 1. but why there is no any change in Gamma Decay in mass number A or atomic number.

    i have asked this question to several forums but did not get a satisfactory reply..

    Zayed Waqas
  2. jcsd
  3. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,735
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    When an excited atom makes a transition to a lower level, it releases energy in the form of photons, but it doesn't change any of its identity. A nucleus also has a similar energy level. In certainly nuclear decay, the nucleus can be left in an excited state, where by a gamma ray is emitted when it drops to a lower energy state. In such a case, there is no change in its constituents, and there's no need for it simply via conservation laws.


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