Examples of transmutation
The figure shows two examples of nuclear transmutations sparked off by neutrons in nuclear reactors. Above, a neutron capture causes a nucleus of plutonium 239 to split and generate two smaller nuclei, known as fission products. The plutonium and the fission products are different atoms. Below, a second neutron is captured by an iodine 129 nucleus that transforms into iodine 130. Iodine 130 then emits a beta particle, causing it to transmute into a stable nucleus of xenon 130, a noble gas atom quite different also from Iodine.