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H3 decay to He3

  1. Aug 9, 2012 #1
    Does this decay leave the He3 atom with only one electron? The only decay productsas far as I can tell are the electron and antineutrino, so it seems like the atom would only retain the original H3 electron.

    Now if that's the case, why is the beta decay electron emitted rather than fitting into the lowest electron shell?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2012 #2

    mathman

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    I don't have the specific numbers. However I believe the decay electron is emitted with a lot more energy and therefore escapes. The He3 nucleus picks up a swtray electron.
     
  4. Aug 9, 2012 #3

    K^2

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    Correct. Energy released in the process is in the keV ranges. Binding energy for electron is going to be in the eV ranges.
     
  5. Aug 9, 2012 #4
    So essentially it's the difference in energy between chemical and nuclear reactions?
     
  6. Aug 10, 2012 #5

    K^2

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    In short, yes.
     
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