Types of Radiation | Properties

Radioactive materials are used in nuclear power plants to generate electricity. These radioactive materials emit nuclear radiation. The radiation consists of alpha, beta, gamma and neutrons particles. These particles that detected by an instrument called radiation detector such as Geiger Muller counter, Ionization chamber, Scintillation counter, etc.

Types of Radiation

1. Alpha Particles

  • It is a helium nucleus consisting of two protons and one neutron.
  • It has a mass of 62 x 10-27 Kg.
  • It has a charge of 3.2 x 10-19 C.
  • It is heaviest among all other types of radiation.
  • It travels with the velocity ranges from 1/10 to 1/100 of light velocity.
  • It is least penetrating.

2. Beta Particles

  • It is an electron having a charge of 1.6 x 10-19 C.
  • It has a mass of 9.03 x 10-31 Kg.
  • It is lighter than the alpha particle.
  • It travels with light speed.
  • It penetrates much farther than Alpha particle.

3. Gamma Particles

  • It is an electromagnetic wave having the wavelength of 0.03 to 3 Angstrom.
  • It travels with light speed.
  • It has good penetrating power.

4. Neutrons

  • The mass of a neutron is in between Alpha and beta particles.
  • It has no charge.
  • It travels with speed depending on the source.
  • It is very difficult to detect.
  • Its penetrating power is small.

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