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# How many beta particle(s) are emitted in the radioactive decay of $$^{198}_{79} \mathrm{Au} \leftarrow ^{198}_{80} \mathrm{Hg}$$...

### Question

How many beta particle(s) are emitted in the radioactive decay of $$^{198}_{79} \mathrm{Au} \leftarrow ^{198}_{80} \mathrm{Hg}$$?

### Options

A) 1 B) 2

C) 3

D) 5

The correct answer is A.

### Explanation:

A beta particle forms when a neutron changes into a proton and a high-energy electron. The proton stays in the nucleus but the electron leaves the atom as a beta particle. When a nucleus emits a beta particle, these changes happen:

• the mass number stays the same
• the atomic number increases by 1
• the nuclear charge increases by 1

NB: Usually gold is created from platinum, which has one less proton than gold, or from mercury, which has one more proton than gold. Bombarding a platinum or mercury nucleus with neutrons can knock off an neutron or add on a neutron, which through natural radioactive decay can lead to gold.