The Student Room Group

beta radiation.. GCSE

hii, i don't understand why beta radiation is written as:
0/-1 e.
(the fraction was just meant to show that 0 is the mass number and -1 is the atomic number).
i am doing GCSE so i don't know if i need to know why; however it says that "when beta decay occurs, a neutron in the nucleus is turned into a proton and also an electron is released too. the number of protons in the nucleus has increased by 1. this increases the +ve charge of the nucleus - the atomic number".

with that said, how is the atomic number of the beta particle -1 ??
the atomic number is the number of protons and a new proton has formed from the neutron. so why would that be??


i might just be just waffling onto something or is this just something you have to remember? because an alpha particle is the same as helium and that makes sense as there are 2 protons and 2 neutrons


thanks :smile:
Original post by harlz_chalamet
hii, i don't understand why beta radiation is written as:
0/-1 e.
(the fraction was just meant to show that 0 is the mass number and -1 is the atomic number).
i am doing GCSE so i don't know if i need to know why; however it says that "when beta decay occurs, a neutron in the nucleus is turned into a proton and also an electron is released too. the number of protons in the nucleus has increased by 1. this increases the +ve charge of the nucleus - the atomic number".

with that said, how is the atomic number of the beta particle -1 ??
the atomic number is the number of protons and a new proton has formed from the neutron. so why would that be??


i might just be just waffling onto something or is this just something you have to remember? because an alpha particle is the same as helium and that makes sense as there are 2 protons and 2 neutrons


thanks :smile:

Good morning young man - you correctly define the mass no + atomic no

However, you need to look at the "minus 1" as a new separate item [nothing to do with the previous mass no] - it is the charge on each beta particle - oc it a negative 1 cos an electron has a -ve charge, yeah?

Hope this clarifies the point!

Be safe!
M

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