What is the nuclear product of radioactive decay called?

1 Answer
Jan 6, 2016


The products of radioactive decay are called daughter products.


Uranium-238 undergoes α-decay.

#""_92^238"U" → _90^234"Th" +color(white)(l) _2^4"He"#

The thorium-234 in turn undergoes β-decay.

#""_90^234"Th" → _91^234"Pa" +color(white)(l) _(-1)^0"e"#

The nuclei that result from radioactive decay may themselves be radioactive.

Protactinium is also radioactive and continues a long radioactive decay chain that ends with the stable nuclide lead-206.

Uranium series
(from metadata.berkeley.edu)

Thus, the decay of uranium-238 forms a whole host of radioactive nuclei.

The decay products of radioactive nuclei are called daughter products.