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.


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

  • AY
  • BY
  • CY
  • DY
  • EY


How do 𝛼 decays stabilize a nucleus?

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


Which type of decay is the unstable nuclide 235U most likely to undergo?

  • ASpontaneous fission
  • B𝛼 decay
  • C𝛽 decay
  • DElectron capture
  • EPositron emission


Which type of decay is the unstable nuclide 245Cm most likely to undergo?

  • A𝛽 decay
  • B𝛼 decay
  • CSpontaneous fission
  • DElectron capture
  • ENeutron emission

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