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QUESTION

# What is the decay equation for the beta decay of uranium 237?

The for the of Uranium-237 looks like this:

""_92^237U -> ""_93^237Np + beta + bar nu

beta represents an electron, also called a beta-particle, and barnu is an antineutrino. Let's verify that the equation is in accordance with the definition of a .

During a , a neutron from the nucleus of U-237 emits an electron, which is a negatively-charged particle. Since the neutron can be considered to be a combination of a beta-particle and a proton, the emission of an electron will leave behind one proton.

This will cause the to increase by 1, but leave the unchanged. Indeed, the beta decay of U-237 leads to the formation of Neptunium-237, which has the same , 237, but a different , 93.