What elements results if one of the neutrons is in a nitrogen neucleus is converted by radioactive decay into a proton?
The atomic number goes from 7 to 8, while the atomic weight stays the same. An electron (beta-) is emitted from the nucleus. Actually, this process does not happen for N-14 because the nucleus is stable. It does occur with N-16 and N-17, which convert to O-16 and O-17, respectively.
To determine what elements result when one of the neutrons in a nitrogen nucleus is converted by radioactive decay into a proton, we need to understand a few concepts related to nuclear reactions.
First, let's consider the structure of a nitrogen nucleus. Nitrogen typically has an atomic number (proton number) of 7 and an atomic weight (total number of protons and neutrons) of 14. So, the symbol for nitrogen-14 is written as N-14.
During radioactive decay, a neutron in the nitrogen nucleus can be converted into a proton. In this process, an electron (beta-) is emitted from the nucleus. The conversion of a neutron to a proton results in an increase in the atomic number by one (from 7 to 8), while the atomic weight remains the same.
In the case of nitrogen-14 (N-14), this process does not occur because the nucleus is stable. However, it does occur with nitrogen-16 (N-16) and nitrogen-17 (N-17). Let's see what elements are produced in these cases.
When a neutron in N-16 is converted into a proton, the atomic number increases from 7 to 8, resulting in the formation of oxygen-16 (O-16). The atomic weight remains the same at 16.
Similarly, when a neutron in N-17 is converted into a proton, the atomic number increases from 7 to 8, resulting in the formation of oxygen-17 (O-17). The atomic weight remains the same at 17.
So, the elements that result from the radioactive decay of nitrogen-16 and nitrogen-17 are oxygen-16 and oxygen-17, respectively.