Revise GCSE Physics


Question:What is the nature of the three nuclear radiations?

The Alpha Particle is composed of 2 protons and 2 neutons, which makes it identical to the nucleus of a Helium atom.

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In fact radioactive decay is the origin of the Helium that is mined on Earth.

After the Alpha particle has lost its kinetic energy by colliding with atoms it finds a couple of electrons and retires as a helium atom.


The Beta Particle is a fast moving electron.

An atoms nucleus contains no electrons so the beta particle must be created in some way when the atom decays.

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In fact one of the atoms neutrons changes into a proton and an electron (the beta particle)


Gamma Radiation is just a Gamma wave.

Gamma rays are only emiited after a Beta or Alpha decay or a nuclear fission event, and are the way in which a nucleus becomes more stable by releasing excess energy.

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