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Radioactive Decay (Grades 11-12)

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Radioactive Decay

The process by which a nucleus spontaneously undergoes a change from a state with less binding energy to a state with more binding energy is called
  1. nuclear fusion.
  2. nuclear fission.
  3. radioactivity.
  4. radioactive decay.
The difference in the                                                         between the two different isotopic nuclei during                                                         is the energy associated with the released particle.
  1. nuclear force; alpha decay
  2. binding energy: beta decay
  3. binding energy; alpha decay
  4. nuclear force; beta decay
Explain the details of the process of alpha decay. You must include, at the very least, all of the following terms in your explanation: proton, neutron, binding energy, Helium, nucleus, alpha particle, atomic number, atomic mass, and alpha decay.

During the process of                                                   , a nucleus emits an energetic electron, called a(n)                                                   , resulting from the spontaneous transformation of a neutron into a proton and an electron.
  1. gamma decay; neutrino
  2. beta decay; beta particle
  3. beta decay; positron
  4. alpha decay; positron
During beta decay, the mass number and atomic number of the antineutrino are zero.
  1. True
  2. False
As a proton undergoes radioactive decay to form a positron and a neutron, the positron represents an electron with a positive charge.
  1. True
  2. False
Just like when an atom emits light as electrons move from a more excited state to a less excited state, an excited nucleus releases energy by emitting a high-energy photon during
  1. alpha decay.
  2. beta decay.
  3. gamma decay.
  4. electron transitions.
Write the nuclear equation for the alpha decay of Uranium-238. What is the resulting isotope and of which element?

Write out the equation for the beta decay of bismuth-213. What is the daughter element?

What new element is formed when curium-244 emits two alpha particles and two gamma rays? Include the element's isotopic mass and atomic number in your notation.

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