What is a beta particle and where does it come from?

Asked By: Hedda Mlachnev | Last Updated: 25th January, 2020
Category: science chemistry
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A beta particle, also called beta ray or beta radiation (symbol β), is a high-energy, high-speed electron or positron emitted by the radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus during the process of beta decay. There are two forms of beta decay, β decay and β+ decay, which produce electrons and positrons respectively.

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Beside this, where does a beta particle come from?

Beta Radiation The beta particle, which may be either negatively charged (negatrons) or positively charged (positrons), originates from the nucleus of an atom. A beta particle is emitted from the nucleus of an atom during radioactive decay. The electron, however, occupies regions outside the nucleus of an atom.

Additionally, are beta particles dangerous? A beta particle is about 8,000 times smaller than an alpha particle -- and that's what makes them more dangerous. Their small size allows them to penetrate clothing and skin. External exposure can cause burns and tissue damage, along with other symptoms of radiation sickness.

In this way, what is a beta particle made of?

Beta particles are emitted by neutron rich unstable nuclei. Beta particles are high energy electrons. These electrons are not electrons from the electron shells around the nucleus, but are generated when a neutron in the nucleus splits to form a proton and an accompanying electron.

What is the difference between beta particle and electron?

Beta particles can be either electrons or positrons. These particles are originated from atomic nuclei during the beta decay. The main difference between beta particle and electron is that beta particle can have either +1 charge or -1 charge whereas electron has a -1 charge.

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Can beta radiation kill you?

Beta particles are less damaging but have greater penetration than alpha particles, and can cause DNA mutation and cell damage. The effects of this type of radiation have been harnessed for medical radiation therapy to kill cancerous cells.

What is an alpha particle made of?

Alpha particle, positively charged particle, identical to the nucleus of the helium-4 atom, spontaneously emitted by some radioactive substances, consisting of two protons and two neutrons bound together, thus having a mass of four units and a positive charge of two.

How do you make an alpha particle?

An alpha particle is produced by the alpha decay of a radioactive nucleus. Because the nucleus is unstable a piece of it is ejected, allowing the nucleus to reach a more stable state.

Where is beta radiation found?

Many beta emitters occur naturally in the radioisotopes found in the natural radioactive decay chains of uranium, thorium and actinium. Examples include lead-210, bismuth-214 and thallium-206. Beta emitters are also commonly found in the radioactive products of nuclear fission.

What does beta radiation do to the body?


Beta particles are capable of penetrating the skin and causing radiation damage, such as skin burns. As with alpha emitters, beta emitters are most hazardous when they are inhaled or swallowed or absorbed into the blood stream through wounds.

What does the beta particle consist of?

A beta particle, also called beta ray or beta radiation (symbol β), is a high-energy, high-speed electron or positron emitted by the radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus during the process of beta decay. There are two forms of beta decay, β decay and β+ decay, which produce electrons and positrons respectively.

What repels an alpha particle?

Alpha particles having an electrostatic charge of +2 should repel each other. They also have a positive nucleonic (strong force) and should repel each other.

What is a positron made of?

Positron. The positron or antielectron is the antiparticle or the antimatter counterpart of the electron. The positron has an electric charge of +1 e, a spin of 1/2 (the same as the electron), and has the same mass as an electron. When a positron collides with an electron, annihilation occurs.

Is Beta positive or negative?

(4.99) and (4.100), β are β+ are the negative and positive beta particles, i.e., electrons and positrons. It is important to note that the term, beta particles means only electrons (positive or negative) emitted from nuclei. Electrons emitted from the extranuclear shell are called electrons and designed by e.

What is Gamma made from?


Gamma ray, electromagnetic radiation of the shortest wavelength and highest energy. Gamma rays are produced in the disintegration of radioactive atomic nuclei and in the decay of certain subatomic particles.

What is an a particle?

Particles are tiny bits of matter that make up everything in the universe. In particle physics, an elementary particle is a particle which cannot be split up into smaller pieces. Atoms and molecules are called microscopic particles. Subatomic particles are particles that are smaller than atoms.

What happens during a beta decay?

Beta decay occurs when, in a nucleus with too many protons or too many neutrons, one of the protons or neutrons is transformed into the other. In beta minus decay, a neutron decays into a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino: n Æ p + e - +.

How are gamma rays caused?

SOURCES OF GAMMA RAYS
They are produced by the hottest and most energetic objects in the universe, such as neutron stars and pulsars, supernova explosions, and regions around black holes. On Earth, gamma waves are generated by nuclear explosions, lightning, and the less dramatic activity of radioactive decay.

What are gamma rays used for?

Gamma rays are ionizing electromagnetic radiation, obtained by the decay of an atomic nucleus. Gamma rays are more penetrating, in matter, and can damage living cells to a great extent. Gamma rays are used in medicine (radiotherapy), industry (sterilization and disinfection) and the nuclear industry.

Where do alpha particles come from?


Alpha particles (a) are composite particles consisting of two protons and two neutrons tightly bound together (Figure 1). They are emitted from the nucleus of some radionuclides during a form of radioactive decay, called alpha-decay.

How can we stop gamma rays?

shield need to be about 13.8 feet of water, about 6.6 feet of concrete, or about 1.3 feet of lead. Thick, dense shielding is necessary to protect against gamma rays. The higher the energy of the gamma ray, the thicker the shield must be. X-rays pose a similar challenge.

What is beta minus?

In beta minus (β) decay, a neutron is converted to a proton, and the process creates an electron and an electron antineutrino; while in beta plus (β+) decay, a proton is converted to a neutron and the process creates a positron and an electron neutrino. β+ decay is also known as positron emission.