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Nuclear Physics

Is the alpha particle weaker than beta and gamma?

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August 08, 2009 5:42PM

Alpha particles (helium nuclei) are much larger and heavier than beta (electrons) and gamma (high-energy photons). This means they do far more damage to anything they hit.

However, it also means can't travel very far and can be stopped by as little as a sheet of paper.

Radioactive isotopes that emit only alpha radiation are not very dangerous, the only danger is breathing in or ingesting the isotope.