Alpha, Beta and Gamma Rays
Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Rays are emitted when a radioactive nucleus undergoes disintegration naturally or induced.
Properties of Alpha (α)
It is the Helium Nucleus 2 He 4 that has two protons and two neutrons.
It is a positively charged particle, the charge of each particle is +2e. The Ionising power is 100 times greater than Beta Rays and 10,000 times greater than Gamma Rays.
It has low penetration power, a thick paper will stop it.
It is deflected by both the electric field and magnetic field, by Flemings left-hand rule. The speed of alpha rays ranges from 1/10 to 1/20 of the speed of light.
Properties of Beta(β)
It is electrons (-1 e 0 ), it is a basic elementary particle in all atoms. It is negatively charged particles. The charge of each beta particle = -e
The ionization power of Beta rays is comparatively low. The penetration power of Beta rays is greater than the alpha rays, they penetrate a thin metal foil.
It is defected by magnetic and electric fields. The direction deflection is opposite to the alpha rays. The speed of beta rays is as much as 9/10 of the speed of light.
Properties of Gamma Rays (γ)
Gamma rays are electromagnetic waves that comprise photons. The charge is neutral. That is the charge of each gamma particle = 0.
It has very little ionization power. Gamma rays have the highest penetration power. It can penetrate even thick metal blocks.
It is not deflected by both the electric and magnetic fields. Gamma rays travel at the speed of light.