Alpha Radiation

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alpha radiation from helium nucleus

Alpha radiation imhando yeradiation ino wanikwa ku ma nucleus ane maelectron maviri ne ma neutron maviri which is helium . Helium inonzi ino buditsa ma alpha radiation ndosaka ichinzi iri radioactive

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The best-known source of alpha particles is alpha decay of heavier (> 106 u atomic weight) atoms. When an atom emits an alpha particle in alpha decay, the atom's mass number decreases by four due to the loss of the four nucleons in the alpha particle. The atomic number of the atom goes down by exactly two, as a result of the loss of two protons – the atom becomes a new element. Examples of this sort of nuclear transmutation are when uranium becomes thorium, or radium becomes radon gas, due to alpha decay.

Alpha particles are commonly emitted by all of the larger radioactive nuclei such as uranium, thorium, actinium, and radium, as well as the transuranic elements. Unlike other types of decay, alpha decay as a process must have a minimum-size atomic nucleus that can support it. The smallest nuclei that have to date been found to be capable of alpha emission are the lightest nuclides of tellurium (element 52), with mass numbers between 106 and 110 (with the exception of beryllium-8). The process of alpha decay sometimes leaves the nucleus in an excited state, wherein the emission of a gamma ray then removes the excess energy.

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In the years 1899 and 1900, physicists Ernest Rutherford (working in McGill University in Montreal, Canada) and Paul Villard (working in Paris) separated radiation into three types: eventually named alpha, beta, and gamma by Rutherford, based on penetration of objects and deflection by a magnetic field.[9] Alpha rays were defined by Rutherford as those having the lowest penetration of ordinary objects.

Rutherford's work also included measurements of the ratio of an alpha particle's mass to its charge, which led him to the hypothesis that alpha particles were doubly charged helium ions (later shown to be bare helium nuclei).[10] In 1907, Ernest Rutherford and Thomas Royds finally proved that alpha particles were indeed helium ions.[11] To do this they allowed alpha particles to penetrate a very thin glass wall of an evacuated tube, thus capturing a large number of the hypothesized helium ions inside the tube. They then caused an electric spark inside the tube, which provided a shower of electrons that were taken up by the ions to form neutral atoms of a gas. Subsequent study of the spectra of the resulting gas showed that it was helium and that the alpha particles were indeed the hypothesized helium ions.