Beta Particles

Emitted by both high and low atomic weight radioactive elements, the beta particle is an electron possessing kinetic energy due to the speed with which it is emitted from the nucleus. The velocities of the more energetic betas approach the speed of light. Beta decay is the most common mode of radioactive decay among artificial and natural radioisotopes. The range of beta particles in air may be more than a meter for energetic betas, and such particles will penetrate several meters of aluminum.

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