Beta Particle

An electron emitted by a radioactive nucleus, when a neutron decays into a proton and an electron. In some cases, beta radiation consists of positrons, "antielectrons" which are identical to electrons but carry a +1 charge.

Note that beta particles are created in nuclear decay; they do not exist as independent particles within the nucleus.

Beta Ray

A stream of beta particles.

See also: Alpha Particle, Beta Decay, Electron, Gamma Rays, Radioactive Decay, Radionuclide, Weak Force.

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Subjects: Nuclear and Particle Physics