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- Understanding Beta Decay 3 answers
So, I am having trouble understanding beta decay. Particularly the number of electrons.
For example; Carbon-14 decaying into Nitrogen-14.
Carbon-14 has 12 neutrons, 6 protons and 6 electrons. When it decays 1 neutron is converted into: 1 proton, 1 electron and 1 anti-neutrino.
So after the neutron breaks down, and before emission, there should now be: 11 neutrons, 7 protons, 7 electrons and 1 anti-neutrino.
But now 1 electron is emitted from the atom (as a beta ray), alongside the anti-neutrino. Which means the numbers should now be: 11 neutrons, 7 protons and...6 electrons.
Since 1 electron is created in the process and 1 is emitted out of the atom, then surely the number of electrons shouldn't change from the original 6 of carbon-14. But Nitrogen-14 has 7 electrons?? Can someone explain?