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Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Particles

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Jose Bautista

on 17 May 2013

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Transcript of Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Particles

Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Particles What is radiation? Radiation is the penetrating rays
and particles that are given off
be a radioactive source.There are
three main types of radiation.
They include: alpha, beta and gamma
rays. What is alpha radiation? Alpha radiation is the emission of
a Helium particle. It consists of 2
protons and 2 nuetrons. It has a
charge of +2 because there are no
electrons emitted. What does alpha radiation look like? Like
This What is Beta Radiation? A Beta Particle is an elecron resulting
from the breaking apart of nuetrons in
the nucleus. It has a charge of -1. What does Beta radiation look like? What is Gamma radiation? Gamma radiation is the emission of a
high-energy photon. Gamma radiation
has no mass and no electrical charge. What does Gamma radiation look like? Each of the different types of radiation has a
different penetrating power. Alpha rays are weak,
they cannot pass through a piece of paper. Beta
rays are stopped be a piece of wood. Gamma rays
are powerful, they can pass through both paper and
wood but are stopped by a few centimeters of lead.
The heavier the radiation particle, the weaker its
penetration power is. Why is this important to you? Alpha radiation (americium-241) is used in smoke detectors. Also, Beta radiation is used to treat cancer patients. Capsules of radioactive material are injected into the body near the cance site. The Beta radiation kills the surrounding cancer cells. Is this harmful to us? Alpha particles cannot even go through a few centimeters of air. Alpha radiation can not hurt humans when the alpha source is outside the human body, because human skin does not allow the alpha particles to pass through the skin. Alpha radiation can only be harmful to humans when the radiation enters inside the body, such as when people breathe dust or gas containing materials which decay by emitting alpha particles. Is this harmful to us? Yes. Direct exposure to beta particles is a hazard, because emissions from strong radiation can redden or even can burn the skin. However, emissions from inhaled or ingested beta particle emitters are the greatest concern. Beta particles released directly to living tissue can cause damage at the molecular level, which can disrupt cell function. Because they are much smaller and have less charge than alpha particles, beta particles generally travel further into tissues. As a result, the cellular damage is more dispersed. Is this harmful to us humans? Gamma rays can interact with cells in the body and make them non functional or they can mess up a cell's DNA and cause mutations when it divides. There are many, many cells in the body so you can lose some of them without any harm. If you lose too many you can get sick or with massive doses, can die.
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