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GCSE physics- is a beta particle one electron or a neutron that turns into a proton?? Watch

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    Hey, I've got a GCSE exam on wednesday and I need to know what makes up a beta particle- I've been taught it is one electron, but then my textbook says it is a neutron changed to a proton in the nucleus of a decaying atom, and so my sources seem to contradict themselves. Could anyone set the record straight and help me? It's just I'll need to know for sure incase they ask me if a decaying element changes after emitting a beta particle, or how many protons there are left..ect, please help?
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    Beta decay happens when a nucleus has too many neutrons.

    To get rid of some of these excess neutrons, it changes a neutron into a proton. Now the nucleus has this new proton that brings an extra + charge, so a negatively charged beta particle (electron) is created to balance out this new + charge....but Beta particle it isn't retained in the nucleus and is emitted instantly.
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    Put more simply, yes, a beta particle is an electron lol.
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    Okay thanks My textbook didn't make it clear that it ended up as an electron, it said the new element will have 1 more proton
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    (Original post by Bluebell2525)
    Okay thanks My textbook didn't make it clear that it ended up as an electron, it said the new element will have 1 more proton
    Yes this is correct, after the whole neutron > proton change and the emission of the beta particle (electron) you're left with a nucleus that has one more proton i.e. atomic no. goes up by one....this is therefore an entirely new element.
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    To my understanding, a Beta particle is a type of ionising radiation. Ionising, means creating ions, so presumably it would create a + or - particle (proton or neutron), but I dont know whether this is correct.

    Sorry if that wasn't much help =/
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    (Original post by Playboy King)
    Yes this is correct, after the whole neutron > proton change and the emission of the beta particle (electron) you're left with a nucleus that has one more proton i.e. atomic no. goes up by one....this is therefore an entirely new element.
    Right so the atom gains 1 proton, forming a new element but the beta particle emitted is an electron...?
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    (Original post by Bluebell2525)
    Right so the atom gains 1 proton, forming a new element but the beta particle emitted is an electron...?
    :yep:
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    Yes. Beta are weird as it happens when an atom is unstable with too many neutrons so a neutron turns into a proton and an electron but the electron is ejected from the nucleus. Alpha, beta, gamma, etc are all what come out of the nucleus so a beta particle is the electron.
    Module 1 AQA? I think all you'll need to know is that a beta particle is an electron that is ejected from the nucleus of an atom when a neutron turns into a proton
    Edit: Also, because it has gained a proton, the atom changes as the proton/atomic number changes so a new element is formed.
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    Thanks!
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    And no, it's module P3 from OCR 21st century triple science -physics module 3, radioactive materials
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    One of the neutrons decays into a proton, emitting a beta particle (an electron) basically.
 
 
 
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