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I have a question about Beta Decay

  1. Nov 19, 2005 #1
    In Beta radioactive decay, how do quarks rearrange themselves in these situations? Do they do this?

    ß+ : 1p (2u, 1d) + energy ==> 1n (2d, 1u) + 1e-

    ß- : 1n (2d, 1u) ==> 1p (2u, 1d) + 1e- + energy

    I believe I have these right. Positive Beta decay is "endothermic" while negative Beta decay is "exothermic", because a neutron is bigger than a proton plus and electron, and so due to the conservation of matter, and E=mc^2, energy must make up the loss in mass. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2005 #2
  4. Nov 19, 2005 #3
    Your equations at the macroscopic level are incomplete...you are missing the neutrino and its antimatter mirror, but the quark structure for P and N is OK:
    For negatron B(-) decay:
    N ==> P + B(-) + antineutrino + Q decay energy released. ​
    For positron B(+) decay:
    P ==> N + B(+) + neutrino​
    Positron decay is possible only when the mass of the parent is greater than daughter by 2 electron masses.
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