Worksheet: Positron Emission

In this worksheet, we will practice solving nuclear equations involving positron emission.

Q1:

Knowing that oxygen-15 can undergo positron emission, which of the elements listed in the table does an oxygen-15 nucleus become when it undergoes positron emission?

ElementBoronCarbonNitrogenOxygenFluorineNeonSodium
Number of Protons567891011
  • ABoron
  • BNitrogen
  • COxygen
  • DCarbon
  • EFluorine

Q2:

When an atomic nucleus emits a positron, by how much does the mass number of the remaining nucleus change?

Q3:

The following nuclear equation shows how an isotope of carbon decays to an isotope of boron via positron emission.

1165+eCB+e+𝜈

What is the value of 𝑟 in the equation?

Q4:

The diagram shows nitrogen-13 decaying via positron emission. What isotope is produced in this process?

  • ANitrogen-14
  • BCarbon-14
  • CCarbon-13
  • DOxygen-13
  • ECarbon-12

Q5:

Which of the following statements correctly describes positron emission?

  • AIf an unstable nucleus has too many neutrons, one or more neutrons will be ejected from the nucleus.
  • BIf an unstable nucleus has too many nucleons, 2 protons and 2 neutrons may be ejected from the nucleus.
  • CIf an unstable nucleus has too few neutrons, a proton may decay into a neutron, releasing a high-energy electron from the nucleus.
  • DIf an unstable nucleus has too few neutrons, a proton may decay into a neutron, releasing a high-energy positron from the nucleus.

Q6:

When an atomic nucleus emits a positron, by how much does the atomic number of the remaining nucleus change?

Q7:

The following nuclear equation shows how an isotope of strontium decays to an isotope of rubidium via positron emission.

SrRb+e+8337+e𝜈

What are the values of 𝑟 and 𝑡 in the equation?

  • A𝑟=37, 𝑡=82
  • B𝑟=38, 𝑡=82
  • C𝑟=37, 𝑡=83
  • D𝑟=38, 𝑡=83
  • E𝑟=36, 𝑡=83

Q8:

Oxygen-13 decays via positron emission to nitrogen-13. Nitrogen-13 decays via positron emission to carbon-13. These statements are shown in the following nuclear equation.

1381313ON+C+2𝛽𝛽

What is the value of 𝑔 in this nuclear equation?

What is the value of in this nuclear equation?

Q9:

The graph shows an isotope of sodium decaying via positron emission.

What isotope of sodium does the graph show?

  • ASodium-22
  • BSodium-24
  • CSodium-21
  • DSodium-23
  • ESodium-20

What isotope of neon does the graph show?

  • ANeon-24
  • BNeon-20
  • CNeon-23
  • DNeon-21
  • ENeon-22

Q10:

The following nuclear equation shows how an isotope of magnesium decays to an isotope of sodium via positron emission. 231223+eMgNa+e+𝜈 What is the value of 𝑟 in the equation?

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