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?

  • APositron emission
  • BElectron capture
  • C 𝛽 decay
  • D 𝛾 emission
  • E 𝛼 decay

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

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?

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

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.
  • CThe total number of electrons is preserved in both nuclear and chemical reactions.
  • DElements can be interconverted in both nuclear and chemical reactions.
  • EThe total charge 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 𝛼 < 𝛽 < n < 𝛾
  • B 𝛽 < 𝛼 < 𝛾 < n
  • C 𝛼 < n < 𝛽 < 𝛾
  • D n < 𝛾 < 𝛽 < 𝛼
  • E n < 𝛼 < 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 + 𝜈 e
  • B X Z + e + + e 𝜈
  • C X Z + e + + e 𝜈
  • D X Z + e + e 𝜈
  • E X Z + 𝜈 e

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