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Writing and Balancing Nuclear Equations

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by

Carlos Dulay

on 3 February 2015

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Transcript of Writing and Balancing Nuclear Equations

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Do you remember?
To balance a chemical equation, you make sure that the same number of each type of atom occurs on both sides of the equation.
Well...
In nuclear reactions it is no different, but instead of using the number of moles of each type of compound or element in the equation, nuclear equations are written and balanced using its atomic mass and atomic number (or charge).
So, how do you balance nuclear equations?
Remember mass and charge are conserved, so no mass or charged is gained or lost during the reaction. Mass on both sides should be equal. Charge or atomic number on both sides should be equal.
When do you know an equation is balanced?
A nuclear equation is balanced when the following two conditions are met:

The sums of the mass numbers on both sides of the equation are equal.
The equation is said to be "mass balanced."

The sums of the atomic numbers on both sides of the equation are equal.
The equation is said to be "charged balanced."

BOTH CONDITIONS MUST BE MET FOR THE EQUATION TO BE BALANCED
Keep these in mind:
Writing and Balancing Nuclear Equations
BY: Mark, Rafael and Carl
For example:
Too hard?
Here's an example of a balanced nuclear equation:
It's grade 2 math, come on.
Do whatever you have to do to balance the atomic mass and atomic number.
Now you try!
Beware!
Sometimes, mass is different in the periodic table at the back of the book because elements have different isotopes. Atomic number never lies, it will be your best friend.
Check for yourself, Thorium has an atomic number of 90, but the back of the book uses the average atomic mass of 232.04, but the equation above uses the isotope, thorium-238.
More examples:
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