Electron capture

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Electron Capture (denoted \epsilon or ec)

Neutron deficient nuclides can also attain stability by capturing an electron from the inner K orL shells of the atomic orbits. As a result, a proton in the nucleus transforms to a neutron i.e.

 p + e^- \to n + \nu

The process is similar to β^+ decay in that the charge of the nucleus decreases by 1. The ed decay process can be described by:

ec decay: _Z^AP \to _{Z-1}^AD^* + \nu

and the daughter is usually produced in an excited state D^*. The resulting nucleus is unstable and decays by the ejection of a neutrino (ν) and the emission of an X-ray when the electron vacancy in the K or L shell is filled by outer orbital electrons.


J. Magill and J. Galy, Radioactivity Radionuclides Radiation Springer Verlag, 2005

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