My understanding of gamma ray emission from radioactivity is that the daughter particle is in an excited state, which then produces a gamma ray as the electron drops energy levels. In the case of fusion, gamma rays are produced as a result of mass defect. However, I have been informed by a professor that this is not always the case that a gamma ray is produced.

My question is whether if there is a mathematical model that predicts whether a decaying atom and/or fusing nuclei will produces gamma rays, or is this knowledge purely dependent on experimentation?

  • $\begingroup$ Note that gammas come from nuclear transitions, not electronic ones. And, many nuclear reactions may, or may not, emit one or more gammas. Sometimes the nuclei are left in the ground state, sometimes not. The branching ratios are shown at sites like ENDF. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Sep 1 at 23:40

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