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Homework Help: Gamma Ray Energy from Decay of Boron

  1. Sep 12, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I have to figure how many beta particles are released and how much energy is released as gamma rays in the complete decay of 1000 atoms of (12/5) Boron.

    2. Relevant equations

    Mass of one boron atom is 10.811 g. I think we may be able to use E = mc^2 somehow but I'm not sure.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The answer the book gives is that 1000 beta particles are released and 88 MeV of energy is released as gamma rays. The first seems obvious because (12/5) boron decays into (12/6) C + an electron. So if you have 1000 atoms you will have 1000 electrons / beta particles. The second I'm not so sure of. How can you calculate the energy released as gamma rays from just this information?
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2012 #2
    Never mind, I figured it out :)

    There were 1000 initial atoms and 2% of them emit energy in the form of gamma rays at 4.4 MeV.

    So 1000 x 0.02 x 4.4 MeV = 88 MeV
    Huzzah, huzzah u_u it feels good to solve your own problems.
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