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Nuclear Chemistry

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by zwander, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. zwander

    7+ Year Member

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    Here's my question.
    In B- decay, the end result in gaining a proton and losing an electron+neutron.
    In B+ decay, you lose a positron and gain a neutron, do you also gain an electron?

    Also in electron capture (B capture) you gain an electron and lose a proton to gain a neutron and for B+ capture you gain a positron and lose a neutron to gain a proton.

    I guess the general question is, when you are gaining and losing protons you are changing the atomic numbers. However, are you also gaining and losing electrons so that your product is the elemental (non-charged) form instead of having some sort of ion?
     
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  3. plzNOCarribbean

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    in B-, n ==> P + e- (+1 atomic number)
    in B+, p + e ==>n (-1 atomic number)
    in E.C, p + e==> n (-1 atomic number)

    so you convert a neutron into a proton plus electron. The other two processes, positron emission and electron capture are just the opposite, a p +e- ==>n. This is why the mass number does not change. A proton and electron are always on the same side of the arrow, because charge must be conserved. hence why proton (+) plus an electron (-) = neutron (neutral)
     
  4. zwander

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    I understand conservation of charge, it's similar to redox in that regard. However, Say you have Carbon 12 undergoing B- decay. It start off with 6 protons and 6 electrons (elemental state). It's going to lose an electron and neutron to for a proton. That means the molar mass is still 12, however the element has changed to nitrogen. Elemental nitrogen has 7 electrons, however the NItrogen 12 we create will have only 5. So the final atom will have a 2+ charge?
     

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