In chapter 1, we explained the definition of the atomic symbol because that an element. In the atomic symbol, the atomic number (the variety of protons in the nucleus) shows up as a subscript coming before the symbol because that the element. The mass number appears as a superscript, likewise preceding the symbol. For this reason for uranium (atomic number 92) v a mass of 238, the symbol is 92 238 U displaystyle _92^238U . To present radioactive degeneration in a ptcouncil.netistry equation, you must use atomic symbols. Thus, for the ns of one alpha fragment from 92 238 U displaystyle _92^238U , you require to display uranium top top the “reactant” side of the equation and thorium and the alpha particle on the “product” side. Simply like any kind of other ptcouncil.netistry equation, a nuclear equation must balance. The amount of the mass number on the reactant side should equal the sum of the mass number on the product side. Since we started with uranium-238 and also lost 4 mass devices in the alpha particle, the product (or products) of the decay must have actually a complete mass the (238 – 4) = 234. We have also removed two protons from the uranium nucleus, dropping the atomic number by two. The freshly formed element is as such thorium-234.
<_92^238 extrmU ightarrow _2^4 extrmHe+_90^234 extrmTh>
In this equation, us have shown the alpha fragment using the atomic symbol for helium ( 2 4 H e displaystyle _2^4He
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