How should you write nuclear equations for beta decay?
Beta-minus decay: increase the atomic number by one, mass stays the same. Release electron and anti-neutrino.
Beta decay is when a neutron decays into a proton, an electron and an anti-neutrino.
This increases the atomic number of the nucleus by one, but the mass number stays the same.
For example, a carbon-13 nucleus undergoing beta decay would be written as
This is known as beta-minus decay.
You can also have another form of beta decay which is asked about less frequently at lower levels of chemistry, beta-plus decay. This is when a proton decays into a neutron, a positron (anti-electron) and a neutrino. It is effectively the opposite of beta-minus decay.
Beta-plus decay decreases the atomic number by one, while the mass number stays the same.
You could write electrons and positrons as beta-particles, like so: