What is Beta Particle?

Beta Particle is an electron (negative charge) or positron (positive charge) naturally released by certain unstable atomic nuclei during the beta decay process of nuclear disintegration.

Beta particles have a mass that is half a thousandth of a proton’s mass and bear either a single electron or a positron. They can achieve relativistic speeds (close to the speed of light) because they have a limited mass that can be emitted with high energy.

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Their light density ensures that, by contact with matter, they lose energy easily and have a haphazard direction as they pass by air or other material.

Beta particles are often less ionizing than alpha particles and, for a given amount of energy deposition, usually do less harm. Usually they have ranges of tens of centimeters in the air (dependent on energy) and a few millimeters in materials.

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