CIE A Level Physics (9702) 2019-2021

Revision Notes

28.1.2 Nuclear Equations

Representing Simple Nuclear Reactions

  • Nuclear reactions can be represented by balanced equations of nuclei in the AZX form
  • The top number A represents the nucleon number or the mass number
    • Nucleon number (A) = total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus
  • The lower number Z represents the proton or atomic number
    • Proton number (Z) = total number of protons in the nucleus

Worked example: Simple nuclear reactions

Representing_Simple_Nuclear_Reactions_Worked_Example_-_Nuclear_Reactions_Question, downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes

Step 1:            Balance the nucleon numbers (the top number)

235 + 1 = 95 + 139 + x(1) + 7(0)

Step 2:            Rearrange to find the value of x

x = 235 + 1 − 95 − 139 = 2

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