Worksheet: Beta Decay and Electron Capture

In this worksheet, we will practice writing equations for beta decay, positron emission, and electron capture and describing the properties of beta particles.

Q1:

A radioactive nuclide X decays into an atom of element Y via a single positron emission. What is the nuclide symbol for the daughter atom?

  • A++Y
  • B+Y
  • CY
  • DY
  • EY

Q2:

Which of the following nuclei is most likely to decay by positron emission?

  • AIron-59
  • BManganese-51
  • CChromium-53
  • DVanadium-50
  • ECobalt-58

Q3:

Which type of decay is the unstable nuclide 37Ca most likely to undergo?

  • A𝛽 decay
  • BProton emission
  • CPositron emission
  • D𝛼 decay
  • ESpontaneous fission

Q4:

A nuclear decay is described by the equation shown. 137136NC+X Identify the particle X.

  • A𝜈e
  • Be
  • Cp
  • D𝜈e
  • Ee

Q5:

A radioactive nuclide X decays into an atom of element Y via a single 𝛽 decay. What is the nuclide symbol for the daughter atom?

  • A+Y
  • BY
  • CY
  • D+Y
  • E++Y

Q6:

A radioactive nuclide X decays into an atom of element Y via a single electron capture. What is the nuclide symbol for the daughter atom?

  • A++Y
  • B+Y
  • CY
  • DY
  • E+Y

Q7:

A nuclear decay produces a particle with a charge of 1 and a mass of 9.109×10 kg. What name is given to this particle?

  • A𝛽 particle
  • BNeutrino
  • CPositron
  • D𝛽 particle
  • E𝛼 particle

Q8:

Which of the following processes causes the atomic number of an atom to increase?

  • AElectron capture
  • BSpontaneous fission
  • C𝛼 decay
  • D𝛽 decay
  • E𝛽 decay

Q9:

Following a 𝛽 decay, why might a 𝛾 ray also be emitted?

  • ATo conserve baryon number
  • BTo conserve lepton number
  • CTo conserve spin
  • DTo conserve mass–energy
  • ETo conserve charge

Q10:

Which of the following processes causes the number of nucleons in an atom to decrease?

  • A𝛼 decay
  • BElectron capture
  • C𝛾 emission
  • D𝛽 decay
  • E𝛽 decay

Q11:

Which reaction is most likely to take place in a light element with a high neutron/proton ratio?

  • ASpontaneous fission
  • BElectron capture
  • C𝛽 decay
  • D𝛽 decay
  • E𝛼 decay

Q12:

When an atom decays by electron capture, an X-ray photon may be released. What determines the frequency of the X-ray photon?

  • AThe change in nuclear binding energy
  • BThe kinetic energy of the parent atom
  • CThe spacing of the outermost electron orbitals
  • DThe spacing of the innermost electron orbitals
  • EThe potential energy of the captured electron

Q13:

Which type of decay is the unstable nuclide 9Li most likely to undergo?

  • APositron emission
  • BProton emission
  • C𝛽 decay
  • D𝛼 decay
  • EElectron capture

Q14:

When an atom decays by internal conversion, the energy of the nucleus decreases and an electron is emitted. Which of the following statements is true?

  • AThe mass number of the atom changes.
  • BThe electron can be referred to as a 𝛽 particle.
  • CThe electron is emitted from the nucleus.
  • DThe charge of the atom changes.
  • EAn antineutrino is also emitted.

Q15:

A nucleus decays by emitting a positron and a second particle.

What is the second particle?

  • AElectron neutrino
  • BMuon neutrino
  • CPhoton
  • DElectron antineutrino
  • EMuon antineutrino

Which quantized property needs the emission of the second particle in order to be conserved?

  • ACharge
  • BBaryon number
  • CNucleon number
  • DLepton number
  • EMass–energy

Q16:

An atom of nickel-59 decays by electron capture.

Which particle is emitted during this decay?

  • ANeutron
  • BElectron neutrino
  • CElectron antineutrino
  • DPositron
  • EElectron

What is the change in the atomic number of the atom during this decay?

Which isotope is produced by this decay?

  • ACobalt-59
  • BCopper-58
  • CCopper-59
  • DCobalt-58
  • ENickel-58

Q17:

The nucleus of an atom captures an inner-shell electron and two particles of nonzero mass are emitted. What are the identities of these two particles?

  • AElectron and antineutrino
  • BElectron and neutrino
  • CNeutron and neutrino
  • DNeutron and antineutrino
  • ENeutron and electron

Q18:

An atom of 72Ge is stable. Which of the following unstable atoms would be most likely to decay via electron capture?

  • A73Ge
  • B72Ga
  • C72Zn
  • D70Zn
  • E71Ge

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