Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Nuclear Equation, not sure it its right

  1. Mar 13, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Write a balanced nuclear equation for the bombardment of curium-246, (246 96)Cm, with carbon-12 to produce four neutrons and another nucleus.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    So this is what i got,
    (246 96)Cm + (12 6)C => (246 102)No + 4(1 0)n
    is this right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2007 #2
    No. Thats not it. You have to conserve the mass number and the atomic number on both sides. For a neutron, its (1,1)n. So, sum up the mass numbers on the left side of the equation and the total mass of the know quantities on the right, and subtract them to get the mass of the atom produced.

    Similarly, conserve the atomic number on both sides to get the atomic number of the nucleus produced to get your equation.
  4. Mar 13, 2007 #3
    is it this? 1) (246 96)Cm + (12 6)C => (254 102)No + 4(1 0)n

    or this?,

    2) (246 96)Cm + (12 6)C => (254 98)No + 4(1 1)n

    i dont have an example where the neutron is (1 1)n either, is it possible to have both a (1 0)n and (1 1)n neutron?

    id think the first one, 1), looks like the right solution, but the textbook im using has no solutions in it, so i have no idea if im right or not.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2007
  5. Mar 14, 2007 #4
    The second one is the right solution. Think about it. How can mass suddenly appear on the right side as it did in the first equation?

    In fact, if you take actual masses (not just the whole numbers, but the decimals as well), you'll see that there is a mass defect, or mass difference between the two sides of the equation. This is converted into energy given quantitatively by Einstiens equation E=mc^2.

    And youre right about the (1,0)n. I made a mistake. Sorry. A proton is (1,1)p.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook