AP Chemistry - Nuclear Decay Exercise
1.  What are the names of the two forces at work within an atomic nucleus? Which provides the net force of attraction? How do the two differ in their abilities to act over a distance?

2. What three kinds of radiation have been observed from naturally occurring radionuclides?

3. Why is the penetrating ability of alpha radiation less then that of beta or gamma radiation?

4.  Complete these nuclear equations by writing the symbols of the missing particles. 

(a) 

(b) 

(c) 

(d) 
 

5. Write a balanced nuclear equation for each of these changes. 

(a) Alpha emission from plutonium-242 

(b) Beta emission from magnesium-28 

(c) Positron emission from silicon-26
(d) Electron capture by argon-37 
 

6. Write the symbols, including the atomic number and mass number, for the radionuclides that would give each of these products. 

(a) Fermium-257 by alpha emission. 

(b) Bismuth-211 by beta emission. 

(c) Neodymium-141 by positron emission.

(d) Tantalum-179 by electron capture.
 

7. Cesium-137, 13555Cs, is one of the radioactive wastes from a nuclear power plant or an atomic bomb explosion. It emits beta and gamma radiation. Write the nuclear equation for the decay of cesium-137.

8. Marie Curie(1867-1934) earned one of her Nobel prizes for isolating the element radium, which soon became widely used to treat cancer. Radium-226, 22688Ra, is an alpha and gamma emitter. Write a balanced nuclear equation for the decay of radium-226.