Properties and Characteristics of Alpha Particles, Beta Particles and Gamma Rays


Properties alpha, beta and gamma rays

Properties of Alpha Rays, Beta Rays and Gamma Rays

Unstable atoms on radioactive decay emit particles such as alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays. These are energy particles, and by producing these energy-rich particles the unstable radioactive atom tries to attain atomic stability. The present post discusses the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of alpha, beta and gamma particles.

Compare alpha, beta and gamma rays

image source: wikipedia

Alpha Particles

Ø  They are also called alpha rays, designated as α2+.

Ø  Alpha rays consist of two protons and two neutrons bound tougher into particles.

Ø  They are identical to the helium nucleus.

Ø  They are produced by the alpha decay of radioactive materials.

Ø  They are positively charged particles.

Ø  Contain 2 positive charges.

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Difference between Alpha, Beta and Gamma Rays – Comparison Table


Difference between Alpha and Beta particles

Alpha Rays vs Beta Rays vs Gamma Rays
(Compare Alpha Particles, Beta Particles and Gamma Rays – Table)

An unstable atomic nuclei loss its energy by emitting radiations such as alpha rays, beta rays and gamma rays by a process called radioactive decay. A substance with such an unstable nucleus is called the radioactive substance. The particles produced by radioactive decay, i.e., alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays are considerably different with distinct physical, chemical and biological properties.

Alpha rays: They are also called alpha particles. Alpha rays consist of two protons and two neutrons bound tougher into particles. It is identical to the helium nucleus. Alpha particles are produced as a result of the alpha decay of a radioactive material such as Uranium-238.

Beta rays: They are also called beta particles. Beta rays are high energy high and speed electrons emitted from a radioactive material after the beta decay. Potassium-40 is a beta emitter.

Compare alpha, beta and gamma rays

image source: wikipedia

Gamma rays: They are also called gamma radiations. Gamma radiations are electromagnetic radiations with high energy and high penetration capacity produced from a radioactive material after the gamma decay. Radium-226 is a gamma emitter.

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