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Sargent Welch

Sargent Welch
Radioactive decay and Nuclear fission?

First of all, why do elements decay?

Which elements can form nuclear fission reactions from neutron bombardment?

Is it possible for elements to decay into more than one element? And what determines if it will, and which ones it will?

Do all elements decay?

On my periodic table (Sargent-Welch, VWR international), there are a list of radioactive isotopes, with their half-lives and their types of decay. If it lists more than one type, does that mean the element can decay in more than one way, or does it do all of it simultaneously?
For example, Na-22 is positron and electron capture.

How do we know when elements will emit gamma rays when they decay?

NOTE: these are not homework questions. They are just some questions I have about my chemistry unit on nuclear stuff. So please don't start yelling at me about not doing my own homework.

take quantum physics and you will find out the real answer!
however simply put elements are composed of protons and neutrons and electrons which in like to be in certain configurations, to get to these configarations they give out protons, electrons and neutrons. in some cases they are in excited states and give out photons or kick out a electron. some elements decay, carbon 6 has infinite half life meaning it will not decay "practically"
example: U235 is an isotope of Uranium, if you hit that with a neutron of "certain energy" (that energy has to do with the nuclear force of the configuration of the nuetrons and protons in the uranium atom), it will become U236 which is unstable and it will go through fission, splliting in two halves and turn it to two heavy elements (atomic number 50-70) those isotopes will decay to another ones and then another ones (over 100 isotope will exist at some point in a nuclear reaction) untill they will reach an stable configuration.
so yes, radioactive elements or unstable isotopes can decay to other elements o isotopes through electron capture, beta - or + decay, alphy decay or gamma ray emission,
How do we know that, experiments, you can't really calculate this stuff accurately, Currently all mathematicall models to describe the behavior of atoms in decay are related the experimental results.
sorry about my bad grammer and typos

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