# Write a balanced nuclear equation for the alpha decay of radium-226

First, recall that two subatomic particles reside in the nucleus, the proton and the neutron. We will refer to these particles as nucleons. Characteristics of Nuclear Reactions A. Equations for Nuclear Reactions Radioactivity is the decay or disintegration of the nucleus of an atom. During the process, either alpha or beta particles may be emitted. Energy, in the form of gamma rays, may also be released by this process, and a different atom is formed.

This new atom may be of a different element, or a different isotope of the same element. All of these characteristics and more can be shown by using an equation to describe the radioactive process.

Like a chemical equation, a nuclear equation must be balanced. First, the total mass of the products must equal the total mass of the reactants. Second, the total charge of the reactants the sum of their atomic numbers must equal the total charge of the products.

Consider the equation for the decay of radium to radon, with the simultaneous loss of an alpha particle and energy in the form of a gamma ray.

## How can I write nuclear equations for alpha decay? | Socratic

Radium is the reactant; radon, an alpha particle, and a gamma ray are the products. In the notation for particles, the superscript shows the mass of the particle, and the subscript shows the charge.

The charge on each of these particles is its atomic number. The energy change accompanying the reaction is shown by the release of gamma rays.

A similar equation can be written for nuclear decay by beta emission. Iodine is a beta emitter commonly used in nuclear medicine. The equation for its decay is: Note that both the charge and the mass are balanced and that iodine emits both a gamma ray and a beta particle.

For this reason, iodine is known as a beta-gamma emitter. Carbon, the isotope widely used in radiodating of archaeological artifacts containing carbon, is also a beta emitter: How can nuclei give off beta particles high-energy electrons if the nucleus has no electrons?

## Chapter 21, Section 1

The process is not yet clearly understood, but it may occur through the disintegration of a neutron to form a proton and the emitted electron: The electron is ejected and the proton remains in the nucleus.

In beta emission, the atomic number of the product nucleus is one greater than that of the reactant nucleus because the nucleus now contains one more proton. Emission of a gamma ray changes neither the mass nor the charge of the nucleus.

(16) A radium sample initially contains moles. How much radium is left in the sample after years? The half-life of radium is years. Because an alpha particle is involved in this reaction, scientists also describe the process as alpha decay. Notice in Equation that the sum of the mass numbers is the same on both sides of the equation ( = + 4). Likewise, the sum of the atomic numbers on both sides of the equation is equal (92 = 90 + 2). Mass numbers and atomic numbers are similarly balanced in all nuclear equations. When radium undergoes alpha decay, it becomes radon We write the equation like this: Ra => 24He + Rn Here we see the alpha particle written as a helium-4 nucleus, which is, in.

It accompanies the rearrangement of a nucleus from a less stable, more energetic nuclear configuration to a more stable, less energetic form. The identity and mass of the nucleus stay the same.

The changes caused by the emission of the three types of radiation are summarized in Table 4. Given the atomic number and mass number of a radioactive isotope and the type of radiation emitted during its decay, we can easily predict the mass number, atomic number, and identity of the new element formed.Uranium's decay equation is U92 -> Th90 + 4He2 + Gamma rays.

Uranium is an isotope that undergoes alpha decay to form thorium, helium and gamma rays. While the formation of gamma rays does not affect the atomic mass of the resulting elements, it is key in nuclear science.

Start studying decays + half-life. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Search. Write the balanced nuclear equation that shows how sodium changes into neon Alpha Decay; /92 U (16) A radium sample initially contains moles. Dec 06,  · Radon is a radioactive noble gas formed in soil containing radium. Radium decays by emitting a single alpha particle to produce radon Write the nuclear equation for this decay of radiumStatus: Resolved.

Start studying Ch 4 and 25 chem. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Write a balanced nuclear equation for the alpha decay of americium /95 Am /2He+ /93Np.

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Write a balanced nuclear equation for the beta decay of bromine Also, the sum of the superscripts (masses) is the same on each side of the equation. EXAMPLE Write a balanced nuclear equation for the α decay of polonium Solution The unbalanced equation is ""_84^"Po" → ""_2^4"He" + "X" The superscript of "X" must be – 4 = The subscript of "X" must be 84 – 2 = Element 82 is Pb.

Write the nuclear equation for the decay of cesium Marie Curie() earned one of her Nobel prizes for isolating the element radium, which soon became widely used to treat cancer. Radium, Ra, is an alpha and gamma emitter.

ChemTeam: Writing Alpha and Beta Equations