What is K-electron capture?

1 Answer
Sep 17, 2015

K-electron capture is the capture of a #1s# electron by the nucleus of an unstable isotope.


Electron capture occurs when the nucleus of an unstable isotope captures an inner-orbital electron.

In the process, a proton combines with the electron and forms a neutron, and an X-ray is released in the process.

The atomic number decreases by one unit, but the mass number remains unchanged.

The captured electron usually comes from the #1s# or #2s# orbitals, because these are closest to the nucleus.

If the electron comes from the #1s# level (the K-shell), the process is called K-electron capture.


Capture from the #n=2# level is called L-electron capture, and so on.