Back to Physics
Back to Nuclear Physics
Beta radiation is a form of ionising radiation emitted by certain types of radioactive nuclei such as Cobalt-60.
They generally have a range about ten times as far as alpha rays and an ionising power about a tenth as alpha's. They are stopped completely by a few mm of aluminium
They are high-energy electrons ejected from a nucleus, in a process known as beta decay, where a neutron decays into a proton, an electron and an anti-electron neutrino.
n0 => p+ + e- + (νe-bar)
Due to the prescence of the neutrino, the atom and the electron do not always recoil at the same speed or in the same direction, which would otherwise break conservation of energy and momentum laws.
The electron gun inside a television tube could also be considered a source of beta radiation, which is stopped by the phosphors inside the tube to create light.
see also Alpha ray, Gamma rays, Radioactivity