when an alpha particle is emitted from an unstable nucleus, what happens to the atomic number of the nucleus?

*NOT the atomic mass number, just the atomic number

THANK YOU

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
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    The atomic number is the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom. It is also known as the 'proton number' for this reason.

    When alpha-decay occurs, two neutrons and two protons are emitted from the nucleus.

    Therefore, the atomic / proton number of the nucleus reduces by two.

    Hope that makes sense :-)

    JAK

    Source(s): Personal knowledge / degree level physicist.
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