Open University Uranium-Series Laboratory  
Earth and Environmental Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK  

Decay Chains
Below is a simplified Chart of the Nuclides for the U-series decay chains. Only nuclides with half lifes that are relevant to Earth and environmental science are included. Separate decay chains are colour coded, non-radiogenic nuclides are in black. The chart indicates nuclide mass 'Z' , also known as the 'isotopic weight' horizontally and proton number 'N' which determines the chemical element vertically. An α-decay means a mass loss of an α-particle of mass 4 and shift to lower Z, ie, 238U to 234Th, as well as lower N, ie, 92U to 90Th. A β-decay where a neutron of mass 1 transforms into a proton of mass 1 with the loss of an electron, mass 0, results in the increase of the proton number. An example of two β-decays is the transformation of 234Th to 234U. The 9 links in the decay chain from 238U to206Pb are indicated with black arrows.
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© Peter van Calsteren
Last updated: 23 December, 2011 10:46