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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