20 year old Nigerian. German major, Chemistry minor. Premed. Science lover and lover of language. German, virology, epidemiology, nuclear chemistry, orgo you name it!
Okie dok (btw, you can almost always tell when I wrote a post because I begin every sentence with “okie dok” XD ) So some clarification on Alpha particles, Beta particles and Gamma rays (incase you’re ever a secret agent the target of the government and someone wants a low key, mysterious way of killing you [goodness forbid!]..or you might just be curious)
Alpha particles: They are the largest of the three and cause the most damage to your body. This particle has two protons and two neutrons and is similar in structure and composition to a Helium nucleus and so, in addition to being written with the greek symbol alpha (α) it may also be written has He (with a 4 superscript for weight and a +2 subscript for charge). If zapped with these beams you will die, however, the particles are very large and can be stopped with a thin piece of paper or an article of clothing.
Beta particles: These are smaller than Alphas and boast a negative charge. It can be written as the green symbol beta (β−), it can also be written as an electron, e( with a superscript of 0 for the negligible weight of electrons and a subscript of -1 for the charge). If zapped by one of these an metal sheet or piece of wood should be enough to protect you.
Gamma rays: Not an actual particle but still packs a wallop. It has the highest penetrating power of the three and you will need several inches of lead or concrete to keep you safe from gamma rays. They are a form of ionizing radiontion (bad >:( ) and are usually given off when high energy atoms begin to decay. It can be denoted by the green letter gamma (γ) and with zero charge and zero weight the sub and superscript are both 0.
review: The largest particle is alpha, second largest is beta and smallest is gamma (not a real particle)
The one with the highest penetrating power is gamma radiation, it takes a lot more to stop it from harming you and it penetrated 10,000 times more than alpha (who’s penetrating power is 1).
The charge on alpha particles is a +2, the charge on beta’s are a -1 and gamma rays are neutral :)