# 2 modes of radioactive decay for hydrogen-5?

While looking at a table of helium isotopes it said that helium-8 turns into Tritium(hydrogen-3) and helium-5 through fission and beta decay.

But the pathway to helium-5 isn't so direct. It is more like this

helium-8 -> hydrogen-3 and hydrogen-5 (fission) -> helium-5 (beta decay)

But the table of hydrogen isotopes said nothing about hydrogen-5 going through beta decay. All it had there was double neutron emission producing tritium which after 12 years turns into helium-3 via beta decay.

Does this mean that I discovered that hydrogen-5 does go through beta decay but not nearly as often as double neutron emission?

• – Jan Dec 15 '15 at 23:15

Sorry, you haven't. I don't know where your information is from but I think there is an error in your decay chain. For the 0.9% of $\ce{^8_2He}$ decays that proceed via spontaneous fission your equation should look more like this: $$\ce{^8_2He ->[fission] ~^3_1T + ^5_1He + \beta ^{-}}$$ $$\ce{ ^5_1He ->[neutron~emission] n + ^4_2He}$$
• For clarity it seem that there should be two separate equations. One for $\ce{^8_2He}$ and one for $\ce{^5_1He}$. – MaxW Dec 15 '15 at 23:23