How does beta decay occur?

1 Answer

Beta decay occurs when a neutron emits an electron.


This decay produces a proton, an electron, and an electron antineutrino.

The electron (beta particle) is ejected from the nucleus.

An example is the beta decay of carbon-14:

#""_6^14"C" → _7^14"N" + _0^0bar(ν) + _(-1)^0"e" #

The result: the atomic number increases by one and the mass remains unchanged.