Hey i was wonderingg for my science homework i don't understand how to do this problem. It says:

Plutonium 239 can be produced by bombarding uranium 238 with alpha particles. How many neutrons will be produced as a product of each reaction. write out the nuclear equation for this reaction to support your choice.

protons (+ charges or atomic number) must balance. Total mass number must balance.
92U238 + 2He4 ==> xxPuyy

92 + 2 = xx and 238 + 4 = yy

I don't understand this explanation and for my anser i got 5 neutrons so idk what went on there.

Think of xxPuyy as an intermediate.

92U238 + 2He4 ==> 94X242.
Since 94 on the periodic table tell us element #94 is Pu, we can write 94Pu242.

but the problem tells us the Pu239 can be produced this way. So we take 94Pu242 (as the intermediate) and let it emit neutrons.
94Pu242 ==> 94Pu239 + oN<sup1

Now, how many of the neutrons does it take to make 239 + ?? add up to 242. It isn't 5. If you don't see what it isn't 5, please post your work and I can tell what you are doing wrong.

You could have done this in one step as follows:
92U238 + 2He4 ==>94Pu239 + ??oN1

oN<sup1 should have been written

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