Types of radioactive dating

Beta (β) decay is the emission of an electron from a nucleus.

Beta particles, which are attracted to the positive plate and deflected a relatively large amount, must be negatively charged and relatively light.Ernest Rutherford’s experiments involving the interaction of radiation with a magnetic or electric field (Figure 2) helped him determine that one type of radiation consisted of positively charged and relatively massive α particles; a second type was made up of negatively charged and much less massive β particles; and a third was uncharged electromagnetic waves, γ rays.We now know that α particles are high-energy helium nuclei, β particles are high-energy electrons, and γ radiation compose high-energy electromagnetic radiation.In most cases, the energy emitted will be in the form of an X-ray.Like positron emission, electron capture occurs for “proton-rich” nuclei that lie below the band of stability.

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