Worksheet: Alpha Decay

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the origin and key physical properties of alpha radiation and writing balanced equations for alpha decays.

Q1:

A radioactive nuclide 𝐴 𝑍 X is converted into an atom of element Y via three 𝛼 decays. What is the nuclide symbol for the daughter atom?

  • A 𝐴 3 𝑍 3 Y
  • B 𝐴 6 𝑍 6 Y
  • C 𝐴 6 𝑍 3 Y
  • D 𝐴 1 2 𝑍 6 Y
  • E 𝐴 1 2 𝑍 1 2 Y

Q2:

How do 𝛼 decays stabilize a nucleus?

  • AThe neutron/proton ratio decreases.
  • BA nucleus with even numbers of protons and neutrons is formed.
  • CThe charge of the nuclide decreases.
  • DThe binding energy per nucleon increases.
  • EThe neutron/proton ratio increases.

Q3:

Which type of decay is the unstable nuclide 2 3 5 U most likely to undergo?

  • APositron emission
  • B 𝛽 decay
  • CElectron capture
  • D 𝛼 decay
  • ESpontaneous fission

Q4:

Which type of decay is the unstable nuclide 2 4 5 C m most likely to undergo?

  • ANeutron emission
  • B 𝛽 decay
  • CElectron capture
  • D 𝛼 decay
  • ESpontaneous fission

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