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Ch.11 Nuclear ChemistryWorksheetSee all chapters
All Chapters
Ch.1 Matter and Measurements
Ch.2 Atoms and the Periodic Table
Ch.3 Ionic Compounds
Ch.4 Molecular Compounds
Ch.5 Classification & Balancing of Chemical Reactions
Ch.6 Chemical Reactions & Quantities
Ch.7 Energy, Rate and Equilibrium
Ch.8 Gases, Liquids and Solids
Ch.9 Solutions
Ch.10 Acids and Bases
Ch.11 Nuclear Chemistry
BONUS: Lab Techniques and Procedures
BONUS: Mathematical Operations and Functions
Types of Radiation
Alpha Decay
Beta Decay
Gamma Emission
Electron Capture
Positron Emission
Radioactive Half-Life
Measuring Radioactivity

In an electron capture or electron absorption reaction our electron particle is a reactant and not a product.

Understanding Electron Capture

Concept #1: Understanding Electron Capture


Hey guys, in this new video, we’re going to take a look at electron capture. The word capture, we've been talking about this. There's decay and emission versus capture. Decay and emission means that your particle will be our product. But capture means it will be a reactant. Here we're talking about an electron. Remember, an electron is really just a beta particle. When we say electron capture, we’re really saying beta capture. They're both dealing with an electron. Beta decay, the electron will be a product. But in beta capture or electron capture, it'll be a reactant.
Here we’re going to say electron capture involves the absorption of an electron which remember, we saw as this symbol, by an unstable nucleus and is represented by the following reaction. Let's think of an example. We could deal with it francium, which is the metal most to the left and the lowest down group 1A. That’s Fr. Here we’ll say we’re dealing with isotope 223. Here capturing at this electron is not going to be a product, but it's going to be a reactant. We're going to have francium-223 and francium has an atomic number of 87. We're going to absorb an electron. What effect does that going to do? That's going to be 223 plus 0 gives me 223. Then 87 minus 1 is going to give me 86. It’ would become radon, Rn. That represents the opposite of beta decay. Instead of doing beta decay or emission, we're doing beta capture AKA electron capture.

Example #1: Write balanced nuclear equations for each of the following elements after undergoing electron capture. 

a. Rutherfordium (Rf) – 263 

b. Nobelium (No) – 260 

c. Lead (Pb) – 207