Properties and Uses of Nuclear Radiation

Source:  Properties and Uses of Nuclear Radiation    Tag:  properties of alpha beta and gamma rays
Properties and Uses of Nuclear Radiation

Alpha Ray
1. Each particle contains two protons and two neutrons. It is a helium nucleus.
2. It is made of positive particles and hence deflected by electric field as well as magnetic field.
3. Its penetrating power is low. Few cm in air also.
4. They travel at large speeds of the order of 10^6 m/s.
5. All particles from a source and decay scheme have the same energy.
6. Alpha rays produce scintillation (flashes of light) when they strike certain fluorescent materials such as barium platinocynide.
7. It causes ionization in gases.

Beta ray

1. It is a stream of electrons. Electrons are created during nuclear transformation.
2. They are negative particles and hence deflected by electric as well as magnetic fields.
3. Penetrating power greater than alpha rays. They can travel several meters in air before its intensity drops down to small values.
4. Ionizing power is less than alpha rays.
5. beta rays also produced scintillation but it is weak.
6. The energy of particles is not uniform as they share energy with antineutrinos. Energy of beta particles varies from zero to a maximum

Beta plus ray

It has all the properties of beta rays or beta negative rays, except that it is made of positively charged particles.

Gamma Ray

1. Gamma ray is an electromagnetic radiation of short wavelength. Its wavelength is shorted than X-rays.
2. Many properties are similar to X-rays.
3. As there is no charge no deflection in electric or magnetic fields.
4. All the photons coming from a particular gamma decay scheme has the same energy.
5. As it is electromagnetic wave, gamma ray travels with the velocity ā€˜cā€™ in vacuum.