Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074



Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity

10th Edition
John C. Kotz + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337399074
Textbook Problem

What information was used to identify α and β particles?

Interpretation Introduction


The information used for Alpha and Beta particles has to be identified.


Radioactive decay is used to identify Alpha and beta particles; it is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation such as an Alpha and beta particle.

An alpha particle has the massive, positively charged and a beta particle has lighter, negatively charged. The particle contains neutrons, protons and electrons.


They are two types of radioactive decays. These are Alpha decay and Beta decay.

  • α- Decay: An α-particle is a helium nucleus. Thus a nucleus emitting an α particle losses two protons and two neutrons, as a result its atomic number Z decreases by 2, the mass number A decreases by 4 and the neutron number N decreases by 2.


Where X is the parent atom, Y is the daughter atom, Z is the atomic mass of X and A is the atomic number of X.

Example: 23892U42He+23490Th

  • βdecay: β Particle is nothing but electrons

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