Can an original element decay into a new element through beta decay?
Beta particles are electrons or positrons (electrons with a positive charge). When an unstable nucleus undergoes beta decay, a proton or neutron are transformed into the other. There are two types of beta decay; beta minus decay and beta plus decay.
In beta minus decay, a neutron decays into a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino. This will increase the number of protons in the nucleus, which changes the atomic number, and the element is transformed into the next element on the periodic table.
In beta plus decay, a proton decays into a neutron, a positron, and a neutrino. This decreases the number of protons by one, and the element is transformed into the previous element on the periodic table.