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Chemistry

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I'm a bit confused as to when I should use an alpha particle and when to use a beta particle in a nuclear equation. For instance, the nuclear equation for carbon-14 is nitrogen-14 and a beta particle. Could I also say the equation is Berylium-13 and an alpha particle since an alpha particle has atomic mass 4 and 2 protons? Thank you for your help!

  • Chemistry - ,

    I'm not exactly sure of your confusion. Elements that are above the band of stability (too many neutrons) generally emit beta particles. C14 is in the category. Be 13 is a radioactive isotope of the usual Be we see and of course it has a neutron:proton ratio that is too high also. It does decay by beta emission, too. Here is a site that shows the transitions. It would not normally be expected to decay by alpha emission.
    http://www.webelements.com/beryllium/isotopes.html

  • Chemistry - ,

    I understand now. Thank you.

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