Worksheet: Neutron Emission

In this worksheet, we will practice how to describe the process of unstable atoms decaying to a lower energy state by emitting neutrons.

Q1:

Beryllium-15 is an isotope of beryllium that is highly unstable. It does not occur naturally, but it can be created synthetically. Beryllium-15 decays via neutron emission. This is shown in the graph.

What isotope does beryllium-15 decay to?

  • ABeryllium-16
  • BBeryllium-14
  • CBeryllium-13
  • DBoron-14
  • EBoron-15

Q2:

Which of the following nuclear equations correctly shows beryllium-13 undergoing neutron emission?

  • A134114BeBe+n
  • B134123BeBe+n+e
  • C134123BeBe+n
  • D134124BeBe+n
  • E134134BeBe+n

Q3:

Which of the following symbols represents a neutron?

  • Av
  • B𝜇
  • C𝜈
  • D𝜂
  • En

Q4:

The following nuclear equation shows neutron emission by boron-18.

185175BX+n

What is the name of element X?

  • ACarbon
  • BNitrogen
  • CBeryllium
  • DLithium
  • EBoron

What element symbol should replace X?

  • ABr
  • BB
  • CBh
  • DBa
  • EBe

Q5:

The following nuclear equation shows neutron emission by lithium-12.

1233LiLi+n

What is the value of 𝑝 in the equation?

Q6:

The diagram shows a nucleus undergoing neutron emission. Red circles represent protons and grey circles represent neutrons.

What isotope is shown in the diagram before the reaction takes place?

  • ABoron-18
  • BBoron-16
  • CBoron-15
  • DBoron-17

What isotope is produced through this decay?

  • ABoron-17
  • BBoron-16
  • CBoron-15
  • DBoron-14

Q7:

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

Q8:

The following nuclear equation shows neutron emission by helium-5: 52HeHe+𝑛.

What is the value of 𝑚 in the given equation?

What is the value of 𝑛 in the given equation?

Q9:

When an unstable nucleus emits a neutron, by how much does the charge of the nucleus change?

Q10:

When an unstable nucleus emits a neutron, by how much does the mass number of the nucleus change?

Q11:

Which of the following correctly explains why free neutrons are more dangerous than alpha and beta radiation?

  • ANeutrons have a greater electric charge than either alpha particles or beta particles, so they are more ionizing.
  • BNeutrons are heavier than either alpha particles or beta particles, so they are not deflected as easily.
  • CNeutrons are uncharged, so they can travel through substances more easily than alpha and beta particles.
  • DFree neutrons rapidly decay into several highly ionizing particles.

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