A simple, one sentence riddle which I'm confident you'll know when you have the correct answer.

First I'm the parent, but I lose He and some energy, then become the daughter.

What does this riddle depict?


The father-daughter titles are important.

Neither parent, nor daughter are compounds.


The question suggests

Radioactive decay: The "parent" nucleus, after decay, has changed into a "daughter" nucleus. Losing energy is part of the process. However, losing a "H" (i.e. proton) isn't one of the forms of radioactive decay. Losing an electron, so a neutron essentially becomes a proton, is the closest. Losing two protons and two neutrons is another, or a gamma particle could be emitted. In no case, though, is a solitary proton "lost". Perhaps if the riddle said "but I lose an e and some energy" or "lose a He and some energy" this would fit better.


Is it



Water is H2O, and if it loses a Hydrogen atom (H) it becomes HO - a hydroxide.

I though of this because

The puzzle is marked with the and tags.

Alternatively it could be

H2 and becomes H

  • $\begingroup$ Great answer and nice try, but it's not what i'm looking for. You're on the right track though! $\endgroup$ – Tommy Woldt Nov 25 '16 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ @TommyWoldt is it simply H2, which goes to H? (It could really be any compound with hydrogen in it). Or is it not related to hydrogen at all? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Nov 25 '16 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil All I'll say for now is that your comment and answer are incorrect. $\endgroup$ – Tommy Woldt Nov 25 '16 at 19:09

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