SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 237: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 237

8. Which type of decay ejects the heaviest particle?

A. Alpha decay
B. β decay
C. β+ decay
D. Electron capture
E. Gamma decay

Correct Answer: A


When a nucleus undergoes alpha decay, it ejects an alpha particle, which is a helium-4 nucleus, composed of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. This is by far the heaviest decay particle that is ejected from a radioactive nucleus.

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