Question
(a) Calculate the energy released in the $\alpha$ decay of $^{238}\textrm{U}$ (b) What fraction of the mass of a single $^{238}\textrm{U}$ is destroyed in the decay? The mass of $^{234}\textrm{Th}$ is 234.043593 u. (c) Although the fractional mass loss is large for a single nucleus, it is difficult to observe for an entire macroscopic sample of uranium. Why is this?
1. $4.273\textrm{ MeV}$
2. $1.927\times 10^{-5}$
3. The uranium decays so slowly that very little decays, so the mass change is unnoticeable on a human time scale.
Solution Video