Problem: Which nuclide is most likely to undergo beta decay?a) Si-22b) Rb-91c) Ar-35d) Co-52

FREE Expert Solution

To predict which molecule is most likely to undergo beta decay


Recall that the stability of an isotope depends on the ratio of neutrons to protons (N/Z). This means for stable isotopes with:

• Z ≤ 20; the N/Z ratio should be equal to 1.0

• 20 < Z ≤ 40; the N/Z ratio should be equal to 1.25

• 40 < Z ≤ 80; the N/Z ratio should be equal to 1.50

• Z < 83; the stable nuclide does not exist


This means for isotopes:

• beta decay (0–1β) → if N/Z ratio is higher for specified atomic number range


a) Si-22


  • Mass number = 22
  • Atomic number = 14 → # of protons, Z = 14
  • N = Mass number - Z 
    • N = 22 -14 = 

NZ=814=0.57

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Problem Details

Which nuclide is most likely to undergo beta decay?
a) Si-22
b) Rb-91
c) Ar-35
d) Co-52

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