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Whenever a nuclear transmutation happens, do we get a new element or do we have the same element with chemical properties of a different element? Isn't it very much against the intuition?

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By definition, a nuclear transmutation involves transformation of one element into another. This means the element has undergone some sort of change in the nucleus (either by nuclear reaction or nuclear decay), hence a change in atomic weight and/or number.

Whether or not this goes against intuition depends upon what experiences one's intuition is based on.

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  • $\begingroup$ To me, a 'transmutation' requires a change to the number of protons in the nucleus, which clearly changes the electronic structure, which in turn changes the chemistry. Nuclear reactions such as neutron absorption only change the neutron number, and do not change the chemistry (well, except for hydrogen isotope chemistry where the mass difference can cause chemistry differences, particularly biochemistry). So, I will disagree with Encyclopedia Brittanica that neutron capture is a transmutation event... $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Nov 10 '14 at 15:37

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