Radioactive Decay Processes
- Alpha particles are helium nuclei
- They are relatively big and heavy and slow moving.
- They therefore don't penetrate very far into materials but are stopped quickly.
- Because of their size, they are strongly ionising, which just means they bash into a lot of atoms and knock electrons off them before they slow down, which creates lots of ions, hence the term 'ionising'.
- An alpha particle is simply a helium nucleus, mass 4 and charge of 2+, made up of 2 protons and 2 neutrons.
- Beta particles are electrons
- These are in between alpha and gamma in terms of their…