# What is the product produced when ""_92^238"U" undergoes alpha decay?

May 17, 2018

Thorium-$234$ and an alpha particle of course!

#### Explanation:

The equation for alpha decay is:

${\text{_(Z)^(A)X -> }}_{Z - 2}^{A - 4} X$ + ""_2^4 alpha,

where:

$\text{Z}$ is the atomic number, $\text{A}$ is the mass number, $\text{X}$ is the symbol of the element, and $\alpha$ is a helium-4 nucleus.

So here, the new mass number of the atom will be $238 - 4 = 234$, and the new element will have atomic number of $92 - 2 = 90$, which is thorium.

So, the equation for the alpha decay of uranium is:

${\text{_92^238U->""_90^234Th+}}_{2}^{4} \alpha$