What forms from the decay of potassium-37?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Potassium - 37 decays by positron emission to form the unstable argon - 37. And then another positron emission finally yields chlorine -37 which is stable.

K-37 + e- --> Ar-37

Ar-37 + e- --> Cl-37

Positron emission is a process where a proton is converted to a neutron, a positron and a neutrino. The emission of a positron can be considered to be the same as electron capture as a positron is the anti-matter form of an electron. A positron emission reduces the atomic number of the resultant atom by one though the atomic mass remains the same.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial