Worksheet: Nuclear Decay Processes

In this worksheet, we will practice identifying decay processes based on changes in nuclear charge and mass and the properties of emitted particles.

Q1:

Which of the following decay processes increases the atomic number of an atom?

  • AElectron capture
  • BPositron emission
  • C 𝛼 decay
  • D 𝛽 decay
  • E 𝛾 emission

Q2:

An atom with an atomic number of 93 undergoes a series of nuclear reactions, producing an atom with an atomic number of 82. Why must this process involve at least one 𝛽 decay?

  • AThe change in atomic number is not a multiple of 3.
  • BThe change in atomic number is not a multiple of 4.
  • CThe change in atomic number is prime.
  • DThe change in atomic number is odd.
  • EThe change in atomic number is negative.

Q3:

An atom with a mass number of 228 undergoes a series of nuclear reactions, producing an atom with a mass number of 216. Can this process occur without 𝛽 decays, and why?

  • AYes: the change in mass number is even.
  • BNo: the change in mass number is a multiple of 3.
  • CNo: the change in mass number is even.
  • DYes: the change in mass number is a multiple of 4.
  • EYes: the change in mass number is not prime.

Q4:

Which of the following statements is true?

  • ANuclear and chemical reactions involve similar changes in mass.
  • BNuclear and chemical reactions involve similar changes in energy.
  • CElements can be interconverted in both nuclear and chemical reactions.
  • DThe total charge is preserved in both nuclear and chemical reactions.
  • EThe total number of electrons is preserved in both nuclear and chemical reactions.

Q5:

In which of the following sequences are the different types of radiation arranged in order of increasing penetrating power?

  • A 1 0 n < 𝛾 < 𝛽 < 𝛼
  • B 1 0 n < 𝛼 < 𝛽 < 𝛾
  • C 𝛽 < 𝛼 < 𝛾 < 1 0 n
  • D 𝛼 < 𝛽 < 1 0 n < 𝛾
  • E 𝛼 < 1 0 n < 𝛽 < 𝛾

Q6:

A radioactive atom X decays to an atom or ion of element Z . Which of the following is not a feasible equation for this process?

  • A X Z + e + + e 𝜈
  • B X Z + 𝜈 e
  • C X Z + e + e 𝜈
  • D X Z + 𝜈 e
  • E X Z + e + + e 𝜈

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