Problem: The radioactive decay of thorium-232 occurs in multiple steps, called a radioactive decay chain. The second product produced in this chain is actinium-228. Which of the following processes could lead to this product starting with thorium-232?(a) Alpha decay followed by beta emission(b) Beta emission followed by electron capture(c) Positron emission followed by alpha decay(d) Electron capture followed by positron emission(e) More than one of the above is consistent with the observed transformation.

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FREE Expert Solution

a.

alpha decay: 23290 Th 22888 Ra + 42

beta emission: 22888 Ra 22889 Ac + 0-1 β


b.

beta emission: 23290 Th 23291 Pa + 0-1 β

electron capture: 23291 Pa + 0-1 e 23290 Th


c.

Positron emission: 23290 Th 23289 Ac + 01 e

alpha decay: 23289 Ac 22887 Fr + 42


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Problem Details

The radioactive decay of thorium-232 occurs in multiple steps, called a radioactive decay chain. The second product produced in this chain is actinium-228. Which of the following processes could lead to this product starting with thorium-232?

(a) Alpha decay followed by beta emission
(b) Beta emission followed by electron capture
(c) Positron emission followed by alpha decay
(d) Electron capture followed by positron emission
(e) More than one of the above is consistent with the observed transformation.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Kawamoto's class at SLCC.