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Alpha decay
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If A is very large (i.e. A>200), energy is gained if the nuclues loses mass.  The most common way for this to occur is a decay, but for A>250 spontaneous fission may also take place.

Equation for alpha decay

Barrier penetration in a decay

The half-life for a-emission depends upon the probability to penetrate a barrier, which in turn depends upon its thickness.

 

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