Radon 219 decays to polonium 215 and ejects an alpha particle. The number of protons is reduced by two from 86 to 84 but what happens to the 86 electrons? Is the resulting Polonium atom negatively charged by two?


the electrons will find polonium or radon atoms and from ions. When the alpha particle loses energy it will pick up electrons and form helium. The ions of radon and polonium will give their electrons to the gas.

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$α$-decay and electron

Radon is a gas, and the two electrons left orphan around the radon when it decays into polonium will form double negative ionized atoms either on polonium or other not-yet-decayed radon in the gas. There are energy levels available on atoms over the filled with electrons shells. The alpha particle will find little scattering targets in the gas and will leave the sample as radiation doubly positive charged. When it loses energy it will pick up electrons from the air and be a Helium gas. The ionized radon/polonium will transfer the electrons to the gas or the container surrounding it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I doubt that atoms have bound states as double negative ions. $\endgroup$ – Pieter May 2 '18 at 8:09

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