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A positron is an antielectron, and it is produced in beta plus decay when a proton in the nucleus of an atom undergoes a change and becomes a neutron. An up quark in the proton transforms into a down quark through the mediation of the weak interaction or weak force. The proton then becomes a neutron and the positron produced is ejected from the nucleus along with a neutrino. This tranforms the atom from one element into another element because the proton count has gone down by one. Use the links below to learn more.

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โˆ™ 2009-04-10 09:52:44
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Q: What happens to an atomic nucleus when a positron is produced?
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Related questions

What is the daughter nucleus produced when mercury undergoes positron emission?

The beta plus decay of mercury (a positron emission event) will deliver the daughter nucleus gold.

What happens to the atomic number and mass number of a nucleus when it emits a positron?

The atomic number decreases by 1, but the mass number remains the same.

How is an atomic nucleus affected when a positron is produced?

Quite simply, the affected atomic nucleus would undergo a "change" from one element to another element. The question refers to so-called beta+ decay, or positron emission, as lots of folks call it. In the case of carbon-11, a proton in the nucleus changes into a neutron, and, because the nucleus' atomic number goes down by one because there is now one less proton in there, the atom becomes boron-11. Your positron and a gamma ray (0.966 MeV) will be "fleeing the scene" in the pair production event. Oh, and let's not forget that since the nucleus has one less proton in it, one of the electrons around that nucleus will no longer be "held" in place and will wander off. There is a more detailed explanation in the answer to this question: When an element undergoes positron decay what happens as the new element forms? You can find a link to it below.

What is particle that moves in orbits around the nucleus?

The electron is the sub-atomic particle that orbits the nucleus of an atom of matter. For anti-matter the sub-atomic particle that orbits the nucleus is the anti-electron (positron).

When radioactive phosphorus decay it emits a positron will the resulting nucleus be another isotope of phosphorus?

No, whenever an atom emits a positron its atomic number is decreases by one unit (because a proton is converted into a neutron and a positron) but atomic mass remains the same so phosphorus is converted into silicon atom with same atomic mass.

Which type of radioactive decay occurs when the atomic number increases by one?

When the atomic number increases by one there is either 'beta decay' or the nucleus has captured a positron.

How is alpha radiation produced?

Decay of an unstable atomic nucleus.

Is there a positron in the nucleus of an atom?

There are no positrons in the nucleus of any atom. Positrons are anti-electrons; they are antimatter. They could be said to be the antimatter equivalent of the electron, and, as such, they would be present around the nucleus of an antimatter atom as the electrons are present around the nucleus of a "regular" atom. Positrons can be produced in atomic nuclei by some kinds of radioactive decay, and they can be observed to be leaving a nuclear reaction called beta plus decay. But the positron leaves the nucleus of an atom as soon as it is created. It does not (cannot) exist in the nucleus of an atom.

The process of positron emission results in a change to the atomic nucleus. Is that change a decrease of 1 or a decrease of 2 or an increase of 1 or is there no change?

In positron emission, atomic number decreases by one. That's because a proton in the nucleus of the element that is about to undergo positron emission changes into a neutron. This is beta plus decay, by the way. You'll recall that the atomic number of an element, which is that element's chemical identity, is determined solely by the number of protons in the nucleus. If we "lose" a proton because it changes into a neutron, atomic number will now decrease by one. Check out the links below to related posts.

How does positron emission cause nuclear transmutation?

It is in beta plus decay that we see the positron emitted from the nucleus. (An electron is emitted in beta minus decay.) Within the nucleus of an unstable atom, a proton transforms into a neutron, and a positron is ejected from the nucleus (along with a neutrino). As the nucleus now has one more proton than it did before, its atomic number just went up by one; it is another element.

Where is a positron located in an atom?

There are no positrons in an atom. A positron is an anti-electron - it's antimatter. It will combine with an electron when it can (pretty much as soon as it can) in mutual annihilation. Both it (the positron) and the electron will have their entire mass converted into energy. In translation, that means a positron (antimatter) will not survive in a "regular" matter universe. It won't exist here with us for very long. But the positron can appear here at any time. Let's look at that. A positron can be created in a nuclear (radioactive) decay event. This is beta plus decay, and is addressed in the question about what beta decay is. In short, a proton is converted into a neutron in the nucleus of an atom and a positron is produced and kicked out of that nucleus. It did not exist in there before the event. Links to what beta decay is and other related posts can be found below. A positron could also be created when a high energy gamma ray passes close to an atomic nucleus. This is called pair production. A question exists here that speaks to that and it is linked below. In an antimatter universe, the positron would be in the positron cloud that forms about the nucleus of an antimatter atom. That nucleus would hold the anti-protons and the anti-neutrons.

What happens to the identity of the atom when an electron leaves the nucleus?

Electrons are not part of the atomic nucleus.

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