We’re being asked for three nuclear equations to represent the nuclear decay sequence that begins with the alpha decay of 23592U (uranium-235) followed by a beta decay of the daughter nuclide and then another alpha decay.
To do so, we need to determine the product that forms during the decay of the initial nuclide.
Recall that in a nuclear reaction, the number of protons and neutrons is affected and the identity of the element changes.
The different types of radioactive decay are:
• Alpha decay: forms an alpha particle (42α, atomic mass = 4, atomic number = 2)
• Beta decay: forms a beta particle (0–1β, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = –1). The beta particle appears in the product side.
• Gamma emission: forms a gamma particle (00γ, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = 0)
• Positron emission: forms a positron particle (01e, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = 1)
• Electron capture: the initial nuclide captures an electron (0–1e, atomic mass = 0, atomic number = –1). The electron appears in the reactant side.
The nuclear equation must be balanced with the same total atomic mass and atomic number on both sides.
Step 1: Balance the atomic mass on both sides.
Step 2: Balance the atomic number on both sides.
Step 3: Identify the particle formed.