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Predicting Nuclear Decay

The two factors that determine whether a nucleus is stable or unstable are:
  • the size of the nucleus, and
  • the composition* of the nucleus: the ratio of protons to neutrons

*If you are unsure how to extract the number of protons and neutraons from the atomic symbol, review the 'atomic symbols tutorial.

Now you know how to predict which nuclei decay, check the 'radioactive decay equations' iChem resource.
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