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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Difference between GM Counter and Proportional Counter


GM Counter vs Proportional Counter

Proportional Counter vs GM Counter
(Difference between Proportional Counter and GM Counter)

Proportional counter and GM counters are devices to detect and quantify radiations. The proportional counter is able to detect the energy of incident radiation and produce an output proportional to the intensity of the radiation. A GM counter detects ionizing radiation such as alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays using the ionization effect produced in a Geiger–Müller tube. Both the instruments can quantify the intensity of radiation and have immense application in research, medicine and nuclear industry. The present post discusses the differences between a Proportional counter and a GM counter with a comparison table.

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Difference between GM Counter and Scintillation Counter


GM Counter vs Scintillation Counter

GM Counter vs Scintillation Counter
(Similarities and Differences between GM Counter and Scintillation Counter)

Geiger–Müller or GM Counter and Scintillation Counter are two commonly used devices to detect and quantify the radiation. The GM counter can detect all kinds of radiations such as alpha, beta and gamma rays, whereas the scintillation counter can detect only ionizing radiations. There are considerable differences in the working principle and applicability of GM counter and the Scintillation counter. The present post discusses the difference between G.M. Counter and Scintillation counter with a comparison table.

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Difference between Gas Solid Chromatography and Gas Liquid Chromatography: Comparison Table


Difference between GSC and GLC

Gas-Solid Chromatography (GSC) vs Gas-Liquid Chromatography (GLC)
(Difference between GSC and GLC Chromatography)

Gas Chromatography or GC is a chromatographic technique used for the separation of volatile compounds. In GC, a mixture of volatile compounds with differential migration passes through a column containing solid or liquid stationary phase. In GC, the mixture to be separated should be in gaseous phase and the mobile phase used will be always in the gaseous state (usually an inert gas such as nitrogen, helium or argon). Based on the states of stationary phases, there are two types of Gas Chromatography techniques: (1) Gas Solid Chromatography (GSC) and (2) Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC).

(1). Gas Solid Chromatography (GSC): In GSC, the stationary phase is in the solid state (liquid phase is absent). The stationary phase is coated in the interior of the column. Molecules in the stationary phase will interact with the mobile phase through adsorption forces.

(2). Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC): In GLC, the stationary phase is a nonvolatile liquid. The liquid stationary phase is coated on an inert support in the column. The mobile phase will be an inert gas such as nitrogen, helium or argon.

There are considerable differences in the working principle, mobile and stationary phase and the efficiency of GSC and GLC. The present post discusses the similarities and differences between Gas Solid Chromatography (GSC) and Gas Liquid Chromatography (GLC) with a comparison table.

Similarities between Gas Liquid and Gas Solid Chromatography

Ø  Both are GSC and GLC are Gas chromatographic techniques.

Ø  Both uses gaseous mobile phase (usually an inert gas such as N, He etc.).

Ø  Both are used for the separation of volatile compounds / mixtures.

Ø  Heat labile compounds cannot be separated.

Ø  Both GSC and GLC can be analytic or preparatory.

Ø  Both types of GC use similar type of detectors.

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