(also beta ray)
A fast-moving electron emitted by radioactive decay of substances. (The emission of beta particles was originally regarded as a ray.).
- When it decays it emits a beta particle and a gamma ray, leaving behind a protactinium - 234 atom.
- During this process (mediated by a virtual W - particle) the nucleus expels a negative beta particle (electron or negatron) as radiation.
- The weak nuclear force is involved, and the neutron is converted into a proton when the beta particle is emitted.
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Syllabification: be·ta par·ti·cle
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