What happens in the artificial transmutation of an element? Give an example.


What happens in the artificial transmutation of an element? Give an example.


Transmutation is the processes of conversion of a substance from one form to another. Natural and artificial transmutations are the two important types of transmutation among their classification.

Answer and Explanation: 1

If the transmutation takes place by artificial means, then it is artificial transmutation. The transmutation process involves the bombardment of an element by another particle which is having higher energy and high speed.

In this, the bombarding nuclei will struck with the neutrons of the other nuclei so that they may undergo fission and produce other nuclei.

One example for artificial transmutation is the transmutation of nitrogen.

By bombarding nitrogen nuclei with high speed alpha particles, it gets converted to oxygen and hydrogen. This can be represented as follows,

{eq}{}_{\rm{7}}^{{\rm{14}}}{\rm{N}} + {}_{\rm{2}}^{\rm{4}}{\rm{He}} \to {}_8^{17}{\rm{O}} + {}_{\rm{1}}^{\rm{1}}{\rm{H}} {/eq}

The nitrogen nuclei first lost a proton {eq}\left( {{}_{\rm{1}}^{\rm{1}}{\rm{H}}} \right) {/eq} and became {eq}{}_6^{{\rm{15}}}{\rm{N}} {/eq}. It then absorbs alpha particle (addition of 2 protons and 2 neutrons). This leaves behind oxygen-17 isotope.

The element which is obtained through transmutation will be radioactive. Hence, the phenomenon can be termed as induced radioactivity.

Learn more about this topic:

Radioactive Isotope: Definition & Uses


Chapter 5 / Lesson 6

What is a radioactive isotope? Learn about the uses of radioactive isotopes, a list of radioactive isotopes, and examples of isotopes emitting specific rays.

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