## Notation of nuclear reactions

Standard nuclear notation shows (see picture) the chemical symbol, the mass number and the atomic number of the isotope.

If the initial nuclei are denoted by ** a** and

*and the product nuclei are denoted by*

**b**,**and**

*c***, the reaction can be represented by the equation:**

*d*** ***a + b → c + d*

Instead of using the full equations in the style above, in many situations a compact notation is used to describe nuclear reactions. This style of the form **a(b,c)d** is equivalent to** a + b** producing **c + d**. Light particles are often abbreviated in this shorthand, typically p means proton, n means neutron, d means deuteron, α means an alpha particle or helium-4, β means beta particle or electron, γ means gamma photon, etc. The reaction above would be written as **10B(n,α)7Li.**