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Writing Decay Equations

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Writing Decay Equations

19.1

Particles produced determine type of decay

- Radioactive decayis the loss of energy to achieve stability
- Spontaneous process
- Where unstable isotopes of one element transform into stable isotopes of another element

- Which of the following represents alpha, beta and gamma decay?

beta

alpha

gamma

How do we know what the charge is of each type of radiation?

- Example: produces a β particle
- Write what you know:
- Solve for the missing piece!!
- BIG HINT!!!
- The total mass and total atomic number have to be the SAME on BOTH sides of the equation!!!

- Example: Breakdown of radium by alpha decay
- Try to write the equation for the alpha decay of thorium-230.

- Try to write the equation for the beta decay of Ac-227.
- Write the equation for the alpha decay of
U-238 in which a gamma ray is produced

- Write the decay equation for Na-22 by positron emission
- Try to write the equation for the positron decay of K-38.

- Write the decay equation of mercury-201 through electron capture
- Write an equation for the electron capture by Ni-59.

- For each of the following, supply the missing particle:

- X-rays
- Behave the same as gamma rays
- Difference not given off in radioactive decay

- Lower energy electromagnetic rays
- Occur when inner e- are kicked our and outer e- drop down to fill the vacancy

- Behave the same as gamma rays

We will be looking at amount of radiation in this class lab.

How do we detect radiation?

High-energy particles from radioactive decay produce ions when they travel through matter

The probe of the Geiger counter contains argon gas that have no charge but can be ionized by the rapidly moving particle

Momentarily allows a “pulse” of current to flow

Counts the pulse events and records

Figure 19.2: A representation of a Geiger-Müller counter.

- Scintillation Counter
- Uses substances that give off light when struck by high-energy particles
- Detector counts the flashes of light to determine number of decay events

Penetrating power of radioactive emissions.

Penetrating power is inversely related to the mass and charge of the emission.

AKA: Bigger the particle, the easier it is blocked

Big particle

small particle