Asked by  | 21st Mar, 2009, 11:06: AM

Expert Answer:

If the proton and neutron are part of an atomic nucleus, these decay processes transmute one chemical element into another. For example:

13755Cs      →  13756Ba  e  νe  (beta minus decay)
2211Na      →  2210Ne  e+  νe  (beta plus decay)
2211Na  e  →  2210Ne  νe      (electron capture)

Beta decay does not change the number of nucleons, A, in the nucleus but changes only its charge, Z. Thus the set of all nuclides with the same A can be introduced; these isobaric nuclides may turn into each other via beta decay. Among them, several nuclides (at least one) are beta stable, because they present local minima of the mass excess: if such a nucleus has (A, Z) numbers, the neighbour nuclei (A, Z−1) and (A, Z+1) have higher mass excess and can beta decay into (A, Z), but not vice versa.

Answered by  | 28th Mar, 2009, 06:25: PM

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