Quirky Quarks pp 170-173 | Cite as

Alpha, Beta and Gamma Rays

  • Benjamin Bahr
  • Boris LemmerEmail author
  • Rina Piccolo


We have learned in the chapter about radioactive decays that not all atomic nuclei are stable. It is sad that certain nuclei can only be kept for a certain amount of time before they decay. A specialty that comes along with decaying nuclei is that they emit radiation. Two things motivate the emission of radiation. One possibility is that the particle content of the nucleus changes and hence the difference between mother and daughter nuclei has to be emitted via radiation. It is also possible that the particle content does not change, but the nucleus re-arranges it in a way that energy is released.


Atomic Nucleus Radioactive Decay Particle Content Daughter Nucleus Photon Pair 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.II. Physikalisches InstitutUniversität GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.TorontoCanada

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