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daNAV1GATOR

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**[SOLVED] Radioactive decay. Is energy released? OPINION PLEASE!**

This is my last question in my last Physics exam!

YES! I'M ALMOST DONE! :rofl:

I would just like your opinion on this question...

My answer is Yes... But sometimes I think it should be NO because

of the question's option for a No answer. But from what I understand

in the textbook, the answer should be YES.

**1. THE QUESTION:**

The decay of [tex]\frac{226}{88}[/tex]

**Ra**results in the release of some energy. Your book tells you that energy

is released in a nuclear reaction when mass is changed to energy. Yet there are the same

number of nucleons before the decay as there are after the decay.

**Is energy released**

in this reaction without a conversion of mass? If not, what mass is converted?

in this reaction without a conversion of mass? If not, what mass is converted?

**2. MY ANSWER:**

Yes, energy is released in this reaction even though the total amount of nucleons in the two new atoms are still the same. Why? Well, the textbook says that when an element transmutates, energy is released in three forms: gamma radiation, the kinetic energy of the alpha or beta particle, and the kinetic energy of the new element. In addition, gamma radiation is massless energy. So if the radium particle emitted gamma rays, its mass would not be affected, even though energy was released.

**FYI:**This question is a continuation of the previous problem, which is: [tex]\frac{226}{88}[/tex]Ra decays into Rn (atomic #86) and an alpha particle. Complete the reaction written below.

[tex]\frac{226}{88}[/tex]Ra [tex]\Rightarrow[/tex] (my answer follows) [tex]\frac{222}{86}[/tex]Rn + [tex]\frac{4}{2}[/tex]He