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It can capture an electron or it can emit a positron.
Electron emission therefore leads to an increase in the atomic number of the nucleus.
Binding energies are usually expressed in units of electron volts (e V) or million electron volts (Me V) per atom.
Binding energies gradually increase with atomic number, although they tend to level off near the end of the periodic table.
A more useful quantity is obtained by dividing the binding energy for a nuclide by the total number of protons and neutrons it contains.
This quantity is known as the binding energy per nucleon.
Alpha decay of the The sum of the mass numbers of the products (234 4) is equal to the mass number of the parent nuclide (238), and the sum of the charges on the products (90 2) is equal to the charge on the parent nuclide.
Nuclei can also decay by capturing one of the electrons that surround the nucleus.
The larger the binding energy, the more stable the nucleus.
Electron capture leads to a decrease of one in the charge on the nucleus.
The energy given off in this reaction is carried by an x-ray photon, which is represented by the symbol hv, where h is Planck's constant and v is the frequency of the x-ray.
The product of this reaction can be predicted, once again, by assuming that mass and charge are conserved. They rapidly lose their kinetic energy as they pass through matter.
As soon as they come to rest, they combine with an electron to form two -ray photons in a matter-antimatter annihilation reaction.-decay are often obtained in an excited state.