Radioactivity‎ > ‎

Properties of α,β and ɣ

1- penetration power:

The following three videos use a spark counter and a Geiger counter to detect radiation.
1- Penetration power of alpha particles
2-Penetration power of beta particles. 


2- Ionization ability:

Ionizing radiation is radiation that has enough energy to cause other atoms to lose electrons and form 


   The different forms of radiation have different levels of ionization abilities:

Alpha particles – very ionizing

Beta particles – moderately ionizing 

Gamma rays – weakly ionizing

YouTube Video

3- Structure: 

 Name  Symbol  Made of  Mass  Charge  Speed  m/s

  2 protons +
 2 neutrons 
  mass of proton X 4
       3 x 10

  an electron
  mass of proton ÷ 1840
    2.9 x 10
  electromagnetic             radiation 
      3 x 10

Evidence of the alpha & beta charge:

Deflecting radiation

1- Electric fields

Alpha particles are positively charged, beta particles are negatively charged and gamma radiation is electrically 

neutral. This means that alpha radiation and beta radiation can be deflected by electric fields, but gamma radiation 

is not deflected.

Remember that opposite charges attract. Beta particles are negatively charged so they will be attracted towards a 

positively charged plate. And positive alpha particles will be attracted towards a negatively charged plate

Press on Deflection of alpha and beta
alpha and beta deflection

2- E
lectromagnetic fields

Because they consist of charged particles, alpha radiation and beta radiation can also be deflected by magnetic fields.

Just as with electric fields, gamma radiation is not deflected by magnetic fields.

Alpha and beta radiation can be deflected by electromagnetic fields in directions that give evidence of their charge

YouTube Video