greater hazard than those that emit beta particles
and gamma radiation.
Some of the earliest bind iodine-131, an isotope that emits low-energy gamma radiation along with a beta particle
If a particular atom broke down to emit an alpha or beta particle
, it would seem that a definite energy source had been broached, and particles of definite energies ought to be given off.
This new device, called the betatron (because it accelerated beta particles
), made useful electron bombardment possible.
Moe and his colleagues have spent the last few years looking for a form of radioactivity known as neutrinoless double-beta decay, characterized by the simultaneous emission of two beta particles
, or electrons.
By now it was understood that beta rays were streams of speeding electrons (beta particles
), while gamma rays were electromagnetic radiation of still shorter wavelength and higher frequency than X rays.
To determine the neutrino mass, Stoeffl and his co-workers use a special apparatus to measure the energies of beta particles
, or electrons, emitted by the decay of a radioactive form of hydrogen known as tritium.
Many radioactive atoms decay by emitting beta particles
, or electrons, thereby transforming themselves into new elements.
The rarest of all observed radioactive event sinvolves the simultaneous decay of two neutrons within an unstable atomic nucleus to form two protons, accompanied by the emission to two beta particles
(electrons) and two neutrinos.
Simpson of the University of Guelph in Ontario reported a tiny anomaly in his measurements of the energies of beta particles
, or electrons, emitted during the radioactive decay of tritium atoms.
Unlike strontium-89, rhenium-186 gives off imageable gamma-particle emissions in addition to beta particles
, enabling scientists to monitor the compound's distribution and amount with ease, Maxon says.
A third type is gamma emission, in which the atom gives off a highly energetic photon along with the alpha or beta particle
. Another is neutron emission, which is when a neutron escapes the nucleus.