# What is the nuclear equation for Bismuth-214 which undergoes beta decay?

Apr 30, 2016

${\text{_ 83^214Bi->""_ 84^214Po +}}_{- 1}^{0} e$

#### Explanation:

$\beta$-decay is the decay of a neutron into a proton. This keeps the mass number the same, since neutrons and protons weigh approximately the same, though increases the atomic number by one, forming a new element.

The bismuth isotope in question has a mass of $214$, and the atomic number of bismuth is $83$, which we can tell from a periodic table.

If the mass number is kept the same and the atomic number increases by one, $\beta$-decay of bismuth-214 forms polonium-214 (atomic number $84$). As a nuclear equation, this is

${\text{_ 83^214Bi->""_ 84^214Po +}}_{- 1}^{0} e$.

The electron is released in order to conserve charge.

You can check this is correct by adding together the numbers on the top and bottom of the equation and making sure they are the same on both sides, so that everything possible is conserved.

$214 \to 214 + 0$
$83 \to 84 + \left(- 1\right)$