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Homework Help: Radioactive decay

  1. Nov 21, 2007 #1
    I think there was a an error made in my physics book.
    It says alpha particles are fired at beyllium nuclei to induce the reaction
    Be He C + n
    Calculate the maximum kinetic energy of the neutron in MeV.
    Im guessing it means Be + He = C + n
    This makes the atomic numbers and mass numbers on the left equal to the ones on the right side. Im unsure if this is correct through because isn't the left side only supposed to have the atom that was fired at?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2007 #2


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    The left side is what you start with, the right side is what it turns into.
    SO Be + He = C + n is correct.
    If you should write He as a chemical reaction for a process involving an alpha particle is probably something for the chemists to argue about.
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