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Radioactive Disintegration Series

Radioactive Disintegration Series

The phenomenon of natural radioactivity continues till stable nuclei are formed. All the nuclei from the initial element to the final stable element constitute a series known as disintegration series. Further we know that mass numbers change only when a-particles are emitted (and not when b-particles are emitted) causing the change in mass of 4 units at each step. Hence the mass numbers of all elements in a series will fit into one of the formulae. 4n, , and , hence there can be only four disintegration series.

 4n4n + 14n + 24n + 3
58595958
Parent element
Half life (yrs)10
Half life (yrs)13.5
Name of seriesThorium (Natural)Neptunium (Artificial)Uranium (Natural)Actinium (Natural)
End product
52525151
Number of lost particles

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