Lesson Worksheet: Beta Decay and Electron Capture Chemistry • 10th Grade

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


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.


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


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


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


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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