Radioactive Decay Processes
When nuclei decay by alpha or beta emission, they change from one element to another.
- They're helium nuclei - made up of 2 protons and 2 neutrons
- Relatively big, heavy and slow moving
- They don't penetrate very far into materials and are stopped easily
- They are strongly ionising, meaning they 'bash' into lots of atoms and 'knock' electrons off
- They're electrons - virtually no mass and a charge of -1
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