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Radioactive Substance Calculations

In this lesson, you will learn how to balance nuclear equations, to convert units of radioactive emissions, and to calculate the amount of radioactive emission for unstable isotopes.

Balancing Nuclear Equations

If you are dealing with radioactive emissions that are α-particles or β-particles, you must balance the nuclear reaction equations, just as you balance equations for chemical reactions.

Since an α-particle is composed of two neutrons and two protons, that number of neutrons and protons must be subtracted from the unstable Isotope that emits the α-particle to get the identity of the resulting species.