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    • Thread Starter

    Just a quick question -

    When an alpha particle is emitted are 2 neutrons and 2 protons lost (meaning a mass decrease of 4 and a proton number decrease of 2?)


    When a beta particle is emitted is an electron lost (meaning a mass decrease of 0 and a proton increase of 1 as a neutron becomes a proton? or not?

    Yeah, that's right.

    It's also worth knowing that an Alpha particle is basically the nucleus of a Helium atom, and a Beta particle is basically a high-speed electron. When a nucleus goes through beta decay, a neutron splits into a proton and an electron.
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Updated: June 22, 2005
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