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.

 

4n

4n + 1

4n + 2

4n + 3

58

59

59

58

Parent element

Half life (yrs)

10

 

 

Half life (yrs)

13.5

Name of series

Thorium (Natural)

Neptunium (Artificial)

Uranium (Natural)

Actinium (Natural)

End product

52

52

51

51

Number of lost particles

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