When U-238 transmutates into Th-234, what does this represent?

1 Answer
Apr 20, 2018

Answer:

alpha decay:

#""_(92)^(238) "U" -> ""_(90)^(234)"Th" + ""_2^4 "He"#

Explanation:

an alpha particle has a form identical to a helium nucleus.
it contains #2# neutrons and #2# protons.

the mass number of an atom is its number of protons added to its number of neutrons.

the numbers #238# and #234# show the mass number of each isotope.

it can also be found that the mass number of an alpha particle is #2 + 2#, which is #4#.

releasing an alpha particle from an atom would decrease its mass number by #4#.

#238 - 234 = 4#

here, the mass number decreases by #4# in the decay process. this means that the decay was of an alpha particle.